Indie directors truly work in a different world from what’s usually seen in the mainstream film arena. Everything from the budget, to production equipment, to even creative meddling from suits works differently when working in the mainstream compared to the indie circuit. And while the lines may be blurring now due to so many indies getting Oscars, will this red line be crossed by more indie directors?
We’re already seeing signs that some of the industry’s best indie film directors are jumping over into mainstream projects that may seem beyond their usual scope. In some cases, this process was stopped before it became disastrous. You may remember when indie sci-fi director Colin Trevorrow was considered as director of “Star Wars: Episode VII” a couple of years ago. Because he only had the small indie sci-fi film “Safety Not Guaranteed” as his major credit then, this crossover to the dark side was quickly nixed. Had he been chosen, he likely would have looked 20 years older coming out of the filming (and fan scrutiny) process.
Now there’s another indie director who’s been successfully chosen to direct an ambitious remake of a beloved mainstream film for Disney. But it could end up being a major warning tale for indie directors.
David Lowery as New “Pete’s Dragon” Remake Director
Reports have surfaced that the director of the indie favorite “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” will now direct Disney’s remake of the even more adored “Pete’s Dragon.” While it’s already being considered sacrilege that a remake of this classic 1970s musical should even be done, is it just as much of a leap of faith to hire a director not used to working in the mainstream field? While perhaps David Lowery will have an easier time working for Disney than another studio, there’s still going to be studio pressure that’s going to differ from what he’s perhaps experienced before.
Reportedly, the “Pete’s Dragon” remake won’t be a musical, which may be a saving grace. Perhaps Lowery can bring a bit of an indie edge to the remake to create a new hybrid in the film industry. And, no, that doesn’t necessarily mean creating an indie-mainstream hybrid of Pete the Dragon.
Will We See the Indie World Integrate with the Mainstream?
Mainstream Hollywood may have learned its lesson in the last few years now that outside financiers are investing in excellent indies and raking in the cash from success. Now the mainstream studios are realizing where the quality really is, and tapping into the indie talent pool seems to be where they’re sometimes going. Will this create a new indie-mainstream brand of filmmaking that changes the quality of mainstream film? Or will it lead to a disastrous collision not unlike F. Scott Fitzgerald once going to Hollywood and running into a creative brick wall?
We’ll have to wait and see what Lowery does with the “Pete’s Dragon” remake to see how this new integration is going to work. In the meantime, those just getting started in the indie arena have to face the usual facts of finding funding for their films. Let us be that sole source here at Indie Film Funding, Inc.
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indieFilmFunding.com “Our platform gives them the ability to help fulfill that dream of making their indie film.”
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