From Low Budget to Big Business : Releasing Strategies for Indeoendent Films and Industry Division

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Filmvetenskap

Abstract: The objective of this thesis is observing the process of launching the small independent movie in the context of big film industry and its hegemony. We will observe the differences between low budget, independent, the auteur film and well known ’blockbuster' entertainment cinema products. In the analysis, we will not focus on the creative aspects of preproduction and production - such as script writing, film directing, casting, photography, and production design. We will observe the film from the pragmatic point of view in postproduction, film placement and distribution, from the last clip to the first introduction to the audience at film festivals. The complexity of the task is to make a distinction between defining free, independent, auteur film as a piece of art and expression, and everything else that auteur film is not, despite the pragmatism in realisation of each film.  This research will focus on film as art and as a sum of artistic teamwork, following its marketing and placement. Our aim is to find the factors that influence the success of launching low budget films of the independent film production in the US.  Analysing the literature and researching the adequate examples, accomplished results will give us an idea of forming a pattern or directions for successfully launching an Independent film in the US film market.  The example given in this paper is the authors' low budget film Boys Don't Cry(1999)produced by Chrisitne Vachon, where we can clearly analyse the way of developing of the film and postproduction activities of the producer, from the utmost postproduction margin, to winning an Oscar for the best female role by Hilary Swank, in the year of 2000. This film was chosen as an example in this thesis for being a successful low budget film with a strong women's author's identity, which finds its path in media from a marginalized queerfilm to a highly ranked film with great market placement. We pay special attention to an important detail - that women are in the role of the director and the producer. 

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