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SH0891 asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 4 months ago

What’s the difference between an indie film and a major studio movie?

Examples please:

3 Answers

  • 4 months ago
    Favourite answer

    There's a big difference. What you end up watching is the result of a bunch of differnces:

    For one thing, studios and indie companies do not operate in the same marketplace. While studio films are aimed toward theaters all across the globe, indies are submitted to film festivals, screened locally to a small audience, or uploaded online. So the target audience is different as well. 

    Since indie doesn't bring in money, unless the film wins a prestigious film festival award or something, the indie filmmakers are not in this for the money, mostly for the art. For their love of film. Studios, on the other hand, are a business like any other business, so their goal IS to make money and therefore all the decisions they make focus on making as much of it as possible while taking the smallest risks possible. That means they produce higher-budget films, as opposed to indie.

    Since indie have to work with a low budget, the filming locations are pretty limited - they sometimes film in the crew's homes, for example. And they also film around where they live. If, for example, they need a beach in their film but they live nowhere near one, that's a problem. They're forced to get really creative sometimes. In other ways, the crews are much smaller and they consists of volunteers or low to non-paid aspiring filmmakers and actors. As opposed to major studios, who already have the budget money, indies usually need to work to obtain it, oftentimes by crowdfunding. Indies also collaborate a lot, which allows them to save on the budget. Studios have to pay every single crew member - as opposed to indie this is their job. Indie is more of a hobby. A side thing. 

    Since filmmaking is a business, major studios mostly cast A-list actors and attach A-list directors because that's what sells tickets. While indies prefer quality scripts and stories, studios prefer investing (risking their money) in existing franchises they know already have an audience, or at least in scripts by well-known and highly-established writers/producers. They don't really care about quality or originally - too risky. In fact, nowadays studios mostly write scripts in-house. Meaning, instead of buying scripts they hire screenwriters to write for them. They rarely buy original material anymore. Indies will either use one of the crew member's scripts or buy (or get for free) from just anyone, including amateur writers or beginners. Some indie companies are bigger and wealthier, but most can't afford hiring a professional writer to write quality scripts for them. They'd rather buy a pre-written script and rewrite a bit if needed. 

    Indies are also normally shorter. While most studio films are 90-120 mins long, indies are more often than not shorts. -They run anywhere from 1 minute to 40. The longer the film is the more it usually costs, and indies can't always afford that. 

    The big difference is, simply put, one is run by businessmen and the other by amateurs. 

  • 3 months ago

    The difference is that Studio films are backed by a major production studio and independent films are made outside the studio system by independent film companies.

    One difference is budget - studio films have larger production budgets then independent films.  This affects what type of movies get made.  Movies requiring expensive special effects are made by big studios.  Independent films have much smaller budgets and have to find investors.  

    Studios have a specific process for making their films.  Disney's specific process may be different than Paramount's specific process but their financing, staffing and delivery a product are all tightly managed.  The process is very formulaic and structured.  Independent films are not as structured and so there is more creativity, flexibility and less control.  Studios track every single penny and will fire people who don't follow process.  Independent films not so much.

    Studio vs Independent films refers to how films are made/produced.  It's quite possible for independent films to get mass, mainstream distribution and make money.  For example,"Napoleon Dynamite", "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", "Saw", "Jojo Rabbit", "Lady Bird" and many other independent films did get mainstream distribution and make big bucks. However, it's far more likely that a studio film will make money then an independent film.  Independent films are much more of a financial gamble.

  • 4 months ago

    It's kind of a blurred line. The general rule of thumb that I use is a studio movie is one produced by a company that owns all of its equipment, sound stages, props, etc. While an indie is made by one that mostly has to rent all of that stuff.

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