When Angelo asked me to write for his site, I jumped at the chance. I’ve always enjoyed his honesty, forthrightness, and clanging of brass balls it takes to get the job done. To make the guest gig even more appealing, the subject he proposed was an interesting one: How do I hang on to my indie/artistic side?
The short answer?
I don’t care about it. I don’t think about it. If I did, I wouldn’t make anything. The act of creation in general is a mixture of compromise and collaboration through the ups and downs of seeing an idea through to fruition. If I hung to an idea because I wanted to make an artistic statement, or if I wanted to be “indie,” nothing would get done. The stories I want to tell wouldn’t be told. They’d be held up in a morass of self-indulgence and blanket statements about the independent spirit.
Awhile ago, I wrote a piece called “Indie? Studio? Screw It. Entertain.” In it, I put forth the argument that the term “indie” is now a useless term. It means so many things to so many different people that it has lost all meaning. It is, as Buzz McLaughlin so aptly put (and I’m blatantly paraphrasing here) the present equivalent of motor in front of car.
There are so many niches in the world that everyone should have an independent voice. Somewhere out there there’s a niche looking to be entertained with your story, and if you hit the right group of influential idea spreaders at exactly the right moment, your story will be heard by a wider audience than you ever dreamt possible.
There is no “mainstream” or “indie” anymore. There is no “world cinema.” There is no European Cinema. No Russian Cinema. No Hollywood. There are only vibrant voices with a story to tell. All that sets us apart is our voice, our ability, and our determination.
We are now more connected than ever. Anyone with Internet access can see anything they want. They can read. Listen. Engage. Tweet. Update. Anything. Every viewer, every audience member is now their own voice in the world with endless opportunity to have that voice heard.
Why would I think of the stories I tell as anything different?
To do so would be not only a disservice to me as a storyteller and creative, but to the near limitless audience who wants something new and different. Forget your own personal hang-ups as you cling to an “artistic mission” or “indie spirit” that is now antiquated. Just be you.
And tell a damn good story.