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Philippine Independent Cinema Essay

Independent films, more commonly known as indie films, are films not made by mainstream production houses or movie studios. They are independent of the influences, authority, and control of the mainstream industry (Makuha, 2010).

The emergence of new and highly-advanced cameras in the market and the advancement of technology have spawned the growth of indie films. This allowed anyone to create his or her own film in accordance to his or her own style without the influences of mainstream movies, which indeed have good effects on the film industry, especially in the Philippines. These films became more noticed and more important and they have saved the slowly dying film industry (Makuha, 2010).

In the brief history of film, advances in technology have from time to time challenged and changed industry models. These advances have wrought their most significant changes on independent sectors of the movie business. In the glory days of the studio system, a parallel or serious rival to that system coming from the independent industry would be unthinkable; the cost and challenge of production and post-production was prohibitive, difficulties of promotion insurmountable. The Internet and many new digital distribution technologies are now starting to remove barriers for the makers and distributors of independent films (Landers, 2006).

The development of the 16mm camera and advances in sound technology made it possible, though still difficult, for individuals or small groups of filmmakers to make their vision clear – something rarely possible in the days of the Edison monopoly on technology, or the prohibitive cost of 35mm cameras and professional lighting setups. The challenges of film making were still large in number, but the development of an independent sector of the industry forced the majors to take notice, though the development of subsidiaries specifically tasked to take note of and distribute promising independent films failed to materialize. Independent film had a confined audience, generally limited to subcultures of underground or experimental film. (Such audiences were often primarily composed of fellow filmmakers – though it bears noting that in many cases, these self-selecting individuals were not those who would turn out to view a majority of the studio efforts.) (Tioseco, 2005)

Within the last several decades, advances in digital cinema have furthered a similar and all the more powerful renaissance. High-resolution digital video offers an image quality that rivals that of film stock, while video camcorders, and relatively affordable professional-quality editing software capable of being run on inexpensive PCs have made the production and post-production process possible, reasonable and accessible for a substantial number of individuals. With the resulting increase in the number and quality of such films being made, a resulting cultural scene emerged alongside, but not quite outside, the mainstream (Landers, 2006).

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