Hollywood Has a LOT to Learn from Indie Productions - Letter from the Editor 4/1/18 - Dread Central
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Hollywood Has a LOT to Learn from Indie Productions – Letter from the Editor 4/1/18

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I have an addiction… It’s called going to the movies. There’s just something magical about sitting in a dark room with strangers gobbling handful after handful of hot, salty popcorn. Sure, there are some minor annoyances like people texting or making unnecessary noise, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. I love going to the movies. Maybe it’s because I, like many of you, grew up in a dysfunctional family circus and used the theater as my refuge. Whatever the case, it has always been a blast… except lately.

The truth is everything is still golden about theater going… except for the quality of movies themselves. Case in point: Pacific Rim Uprising. Here’s a flick featuring giant robots fighting each other and incredible looking giant monsters. It’s friggin’ brain popcorn, man. Anyone who knows me knows that Godzilla and other mountainous beasts are things this author breathes for. So, why did the whole experience come off as absolutely vapid? It was just an in-one-ear-and-out-the-other experience… with me for only a few fleeting moments after the credits rolled. I’m in no way singling PRU out, as this has been a steady occurrence for a few years now.

But then it happens… I fire up Netflix, Amazon Instant, VUDU, and Shudder and see a movie that knocks my socks off! Mayhem, Terrifier, Veronica, Victor Crowley, Still/Born… each of these flicks is a blast and more than worthy of full-blown theatrical releases, but unfortunately for the indies (films and studios alike), getting your flicks to play on the big screen is an uphill battle against huge bankrolls, people too scared to take a chance, and superheroes guarding tentpoles which will… some day… find themselves flaccid due to over-saturation and waning interest. Even The Force has grown kind of weak.

Who knows… maybe it’s because smaller flicks have that fire… that passion to just be a good movie without worrying about ticking off every box on the old “sure bet” industry checklist. We need to fuel these type of films and their filmmakers… do it via word of mouth and via social media. The success of these little flicks is pretty much in our hands. Take ownership. Shout about what you love from the rooftops, and maybe someone else will hear you and do the same. That’s how it was done in the past, and that’s how it will continue to be done in the future as films find their audiences.

I’m not saying Hollywood should stop making these huge spectacle films… but there are reasons why movies like Get Out, The Shape of Water, Paranormal Activity, etc., etc., are so very much revered: Each of them has heart, and said heart is not (always) created via CG 3D rendering credited to 300 billion different artists and their software tools. It’s found beating within the chests of the filmmakers who were fans of the filmmakers before them. Inspiration and creativity trump homogenization every time.

– Keep it Creepy…

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