There has been no better time to be a filmmaker than today. Technology has played a major role in this new dynamic. More people than ever before now have the means to not only make a film, but to also see it find an audience. A person with a smartphone has better equipment than what was used to make some of the most iconic indie films of the last couple of decades. Beyond that, there are also more media outlets than ever before. That same smartphone used to make the film can also upload it to YouTube or Vimeo where it can be viewed anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, this has also created a glut of bad films either made by people who lack the passion of a true filmmaker, or production companies looking to cash in on a trend. Many wonderful indie films have gotten lost in the slush of garbage out there, which is why festivals like The Wayward Film Festival are so important.
Events like The Wayward Film Festival are a way for budding filmmakers to showcase their work, and make connections with others in the industry. Wayward brings in people from all levels of the industry, from other indie filmmakers to studio execs and famous directors – who may be willing to impart some of their hard earned wisdom. Smart producers are always on the lookout for talent, and film festivals are some of the best places to look.
Independent films are more important to the film industry and the art form than many people realize. In one way, the indie film scene serves as the minor leagues where aspiring filmmakers can hone their skills. It also separates the wheat from the chaff. Making a movie isn’t easy, and there are many actors, directors, and producers who have called it quits after finding out firsthand how much work filmmaking is.
More importantly, the indie film scene is where new ideas are born. The big Hollywood studios exist to make as much money as possible, and as such, they tend to stick with what works because they want the surest thing possible when it comes to box office receipts. They play it safe. If it wasn’t for indie films, we would never see much of anything new or innovative. It is that spirit that transforms Hollywood. Nearly every blockbuster is directed by someone who first made a name for themselves as an independent filmmaker. Lucas got Star Wars greenlit because of his success on American Graffiti, and James Cameron earned a reputation for innovation and resourcefulness well before he sent cybernetic organisms back in time.
Film festivals also remind us that we are all artists using the same medium, no matter how that medium has changed. This is why The Wayward Film Festival works to bring in people from all tiers of the filmmaking industry. We want the raw amateur with big dreams to bring his film and have it play along with an acclaimed director’s pet project. They bring in the traditional filmmaker and the aspiring YouTube star. There is room for all, and it is this meeting of the minds between the artists and the audience that will drive the future of film.
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