Never mind that the "death of indie film" article is an article that practically writes itself or that most indie bands aren't exactly swimming in cash, Berman's chief problems stem from a couple of things:
- Her definition of indie isn't exactly indie. When your article's primary example of just how bad things are is a film with a budget of $20M (the highest budget eligible for an Indie Spirit Award), then you aren't talking about indie film. You're talking about a small studio film that just doesn't happen to have a studio. The ability (or inability) of a $20M film to get made means very little in the indie film world.
- She asks, when was the last time you saw someone in a Wendy and Lucy shirt? As if all films are able to sell is a DVD. The thing is, most indies will sell you more than that. Some of them a lot more. Ink, for example, will sell you a DVD, a Blu-Ray DVD, a t-shirt, a poster, and a soundtrack. Most bands won't sell you that much.
- "Hell, O.C. and Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz has probably broken more indie musicians to the mainstream in the past 10 years than your average major-label A&R dude." But you know who also discovers bands? Yeah, indie filmmakers.
- Hipsters. Indie bands are successful because of hipsters. Yay stereotypes!
Yes, Berman is right in the music has built-in advantages over film. Any idiot knows that. It's like saying it's easier to find things to do in the summer than winter. What she doesn't do is present any ways in which film can close the gap. There are no solutions, only problems. And the problems aren't all that well thought out. Some of them are just wrong.
It's nothing more than lazy, misguided journalism. It's a shame that people have latched on to it as something of value. All it does is encourage this sort of garbage.
Still, that doesn't change the fact that indie film is in trouble. But we don't need an article to tell us that. We need an article to present ideas on how we can fix that. Anything else is just a waste of everyone's time.
Having said that, let's hear it. What can film do to stave off death?