Major film studios provide funding to create most mainstream films. In addition, when mainstream films are created, the film studio distributes the film to theatres and box offices, ensuring a return on the investment made in the film. Independent films or “Indie” films, however, are created with very low money, no support of a film studio and no promise of distribution. These types of films focus more on the creative process and less on making money from the film.

Home Movies to Independent Films

Independent films do not have to be completed by well-known directors or experienced filmmakers. Even someone with a camera, actors, video editing software and an idea for a storyline can turn their home movie into an independent film. The requirements for this genre are not necessarily how widely seen or known the film is, but the creative energy put into the project. This creative energy, fuelled by an audience who wants to see new and interesting ideas, creates the successful dynamics of making an independent film happen.

An Industry Fuelled by Technology

The Indie film movement also has grown increasingly stronger as technological improvements in camera equipment and film editing software are made. The ability to use high definition and digital cameras for filming has made the quality of independent films look strikingly comparable to movies created in major studios. In addition, advancements in video editing software allow the video shots to be updated, edited, cut and meshed together to create the perfect storyline for an independent movie. Expensive film editing equipment is no longer required to make a quality film.

Differences Between Independent and Major Films

The biggest differences between an independent film and a major one are the marketing agendas. Major motion pictures tend to lean towards the agenda and desires of those that are providing funding the films. The investors want to make money at the box office and on merchandise associated with the film. Great examples of this are the toys, memorabilia and products that come from the movie, Star Wars. Independent films tend to focus completely on the story that is being told and have no hidden agendas or products, other than the movie itself.

The Best Independent Films

Not every independent film makes it to the Sundance Film Festival, one of the largest and most well-known Indie film festivals. However, many independent films have been huge successes. Some of these films include movies like The Terminator, The Usual Suspects and Fahrenheit 911. In addition, there are recently released Indie films such as Half Nelson and Reservoir Dogs that have also been huge hits. These films prove that Indie movie making can be successful and fulfilling for those moviemakers that put their blood, sweat and tears into a project.


Creating an independent or Indie film requires a director to have passion for a storyline that needs to be told. In addition, the creator of Indie films must be able to pool all their resources and create an amazing storyline with very little financial backing. The independent film industry has created some of the most well known films that tell compelling stories and messages. Independent films ensure small voices are heard in a consumerism driven world.