Words by Ashley Good, BC Culture Days Ambassador, Victoria BC.
Independent filmmaking is a community driven art form. While many of us involved in indie film refer to ourselves as “filmmakers” when asked what we do, we rely on our teams of friends/other filmmakers to help us to create our art.
You might be wondering, what does it mean to be a filmmaker then? Truthfully, the definition can vary from person to person – “filmmaker” acts as a bit of an umbrella term. While exact duties will vary from project to project, when I am working on my own short films, I am typically the writer, director, producer, set decorator, and editor. Some of these roles are handled by me for budgetary reasons, but also because I like having creative oversight on my projects and because, if I’m being honest, playing with props and practical effects is a ton of fun!
All of those roles aside though, I still rely on the help of an assistant director, script supervisor, director of photography and camera team, gaffers, data wrangler, audio tech, and a hair and make-up artist. An average micro-budget short film shoot will involve about 12 people on-set, not including the actors. Post production is a whole other thing! Depending on your project, there may be four different editors involved to assist with things like colour correction, audio, and special effects. It is because of all of these roles that indie film is so collaborative and community driven.
My advice to those that want to get involved in indie film is to find their team. It takes a lot of networking and trial and error, but being a part of a community is the most important resource that you will need (other than funding, but that’s a whole other article 😉 ).
In addition to being an independent filmmaker, I am also the Programming & Outreach Coordinator at CineVic: Society of Independent Filmmakers. This allows me to work directly with other members of the film community to encourage networking and team building, by hosting workshops as well as screening events. I will be hosting a Culture Days event at CineVic on September 29, where I will be screening projects by other local filmmakers. This event will include time for Q & A so it will be a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about this art form.
Ashley Good is an independent filmmaker from Victoria, British Columbia. She is currently producing an indie feature, THE CAMPING DISCOVERY, and is planning to shoot her next short film, STICKY later this fall. Ashley’s first feature length comedy, PITY PARTY, is set to be released online in October. To learn more, visit blackframes.ca.
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