As I release my podcasts it’s started to dawn on me that I need to start accepting YHAD for what it is. Understanding the film and it’s expectations but most importantly being honest about what sort of filmmaker I am. For a long time I have called myself an ‘Independent’ filmmaker and used the term ‘Indie’ to reference my work, but deep down I feel silly using those words, they don’t really represent me and doubt they ever will. For too long I have lied to myself about the type of filmmaker I am and the type of work that I create, comparing myself to other ‘Indie’ filmmakers and trying to fit in with the clique/circles that these hipsters move in.
I know I am not the only one doing this, keeping up appearances to try and fit in. There are so many other filmmakers out there, who just like me won’t and will never ‘fit in’. So rather than continue to sit in the dark, I am getting up and stepping out of the Indie Closet. That’s right! I am no longer ashamed to be who I am, plus It’s getting far too stuffy and cramped in there. It’s high time I just came out and admitted it!
“I’m an adaptive filmmaker”.
So now iv’e come out and said it, what exactly does it mean to no longer be Independent or “Indie”?
Well put simply…. not that much really, I’m still me and the films remained the same it just has a different label and this is nothing to be ashamed of! It’s just that I don’t fit or match up to everyones expectations. YHAD and ME are bored of pretending to be something we’re not. And heres why….
The word Independent is becoming too ironic in the film business. Especially with so many feature films being a far cry from actually being financially self reliant! You really have to question how “Indie” something is when it has to rely on public lottery funds, crowd funding or private investors.
and this isn’t just about money…..
Surely the point of being Independent is that you rebel against the ‘Big Wigs’ and go it alone. Furthermore many of these filmmakers label themselves as “Independent” off the back of a trend and for other reasons. For someone like me, I had to make YHAD the way I did, I had no other option or choice but to do it this way. No company or organisation was prepared to let me make this type of film. So It’s important people understand the reason I made YHAD outside of a studio or other financing systems was because these opportunities didn’t exist for someone like me.
Im an outcast amongst my peers, the black sheep of the family but I’m not alone. There are many other filmmakers out there who are also like me, stuck in a place they don’t really belong. It’s okay to be different, infact it gives you an advantage!
For me the true meaning of ‘Indie’ has kind of lost it’s way. I personally feel like a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon for ‘Hipsterish’ reasons and not because they ‘truly had to’. The term gets mis-represented and used in a whole manner of absurd ways. Sometimes using the ‘Indie’ term to attach a level of intellect to their work. Using the term to justify loss of money. Using the word so they can escape the basic rules of a three act structure or simply using the trend to cut back on money.
There is a massive danger that the Independent Film Industry is becoming a giant ‘IKEA’ with quick turnarounds for cheap, short lived products. It’s bad enough that society consumes things at such a rapid rate with huge wastage. The big film studio’s can handle this turn around and have the power and clout to deal with consumption like this. Can I do this? The answer is NO
So it’s no surprise that we see so many of these Indie films all looking and feeling so …….. well how can I put it? ‘Independent’ and ‘Generic’. Instead of standing alone, being unique and bucking a trend, these hipsters group together creating one giant Independent Industry. Essentially becoming an exact copy of the very same Hollywood machine it opposes!
What’s really concerning is that for most mere mortals the Indie Industry doors are locked firmly shut and just as tight as the Studio doors. To me that seems absolutely nuts and is why I don’t operate on the same level.
I am not saying my way of doing things will be the right way or that other people should follow suit, I’m just pointing out I don’t belong to any of this. It’s alien to me.
So If I don’t fit in and nor does my film. I see no point in pretending to. I see no relevance with the words ‘Independent or Indie’. For example you wouldn’t put ‘El Mariachi and The King’s Speech in the same box, would you? It’s not about which one is better they both serve different people on different levels, the same goes for YHAD and lets face it. With the title alone ‘Young, High and Dead’ ain’t gonna be suggested ‘because you watched The Kings Speech’ on Netflix is it!
As far as I can see, Young, High and Dead doesn’t fit into any boxes the ‘Hipster Kids’ are playing with. So I’m moved to my own area to play in, it looks kind of similar, it’s just in a rougher neighbourhood. I don’t for one second expect the Hipsters to venture over and join in as I doubt their mum will let them cross the road, plus I’m over here playing with matches!
For a better indication about what I’m banging on about go follow my Podcasts, you will soon see what I mean.
(Adaptive Filmmaker / Writer & Director)