Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Indie Author vs The Indie Movie Maker

Been pondering this for a few days.  The indie movie maker is applauded while the indie author is stigmatized.  Why is that?  What really is the difference?

Indie movie makers can sometimes make great movies.  They have won awards and picked up Major Studio distribution. And sometimes the indie movie maker makes crap or a mediocre (at best) motion picture.  And many just fall into the middle - somewhere between crap and great.  The biggest difference I see is that the indie movie maker, when they fail, is told something to the effect of 'don't worry, you're next one will be better'.  Something along those lines.  Every week in this country, somewhere there is a film festival, for the indie movie maker to showcase his work.  Heck, Arkansas alone has at least seven that I can think of, off the top of my head.

Now let's look at the indie author.  This is the person that spends hours and hours behind the keyboard crafting stories to the best of their ability.  They may decide to self-publish from the get-go, wanting to be in control of every part of their beloved book.  Or, they may have tried to get past the gatekeepers for the Big 6 and failed miserably.  Or they may be established authors republishing both their back lists (where rights have reverted back to the author) along with new stories they write.

For whatever reason, many people believe that anything self published is pure crap - 100 percent of the time - no exceptions.  And yet, some of these people are the first to flock to the film festivals to see what is new and innovative.  I mean, I don't get this.

Why are people so willing to accept an independent movie maker's work as something worth seeing, yet feel that an independent author isn't worth reading?  I'm missing something somewhere, obviously.

I will admit, I do both - along with my better half, I make short movies and I write short stories and novels.  And for the most part, the only support I see for what I am trying to do is from other independent creatives.  When I tell a person outside the film community, we make short films the general reaction is "how cool" or something like that.  When I tell someone outside the writing community I have a new book out - first question is almost inevitably "who published it?".  When I say, myself - you can almost hear their eyes rolling upwards in their head.

Why is that?

Okay, rant over.

1 comment:

  1. Because filmmakers need a lot of investment in gear and time and specialized equipment to produce a movie. Total investment: Years.

    Yet any monkey can type up a bunch of words and call it a book. Total investment: Days.

    I don't think all indies are thrown in the same pot. Only the crappy ones. I don't see it as a problem at all.