"Part of what we have to do as independent filmmakers is to find ways to support each other."
- Motke Dapp, Award-Winning Director
Motke makes great films. It's what he does. It's what he was born to do. He's won several awards for his short films, his feature film Another Version of You, and even for his commercial work. But even with his many accolades and the major moves he continues to make in the film industry, he understands the need for the community to come together to lift each another up and he's more than happy to do his part.
When we asked him what the filmmaking community could do to help themselves, Motke put it very simply:
"Go find some [indie] films that are out there, and go buy them, and then go review them positively, and then go share them with friends."
This is no small ask when it comes to its significance to the indie film community. The Internet of Things gives platforms for trolls to denigrate and disrespect the filmmaker's journey with shamefully low ratings and overly critical reviews. This can damage the filmmaker's spirit and unfairly stray others away from giving indie filmmakers the attention and constructive criticism they deserve.
So, let's break down Motke's advice into a few very specific things you can do to help the community:
Find Indie Films
One way to find indie films is to visit your local film festival web sites and check out the films that were submitted over the past few years. If you're not familiar with all of the local film festivals, check out filmfreeway.com for reference. Once you have identified a handful that interest you, do a little online searching to find where to watch them. I'll caution you against doing a search for "Independent films" across the major streamers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime as their version of independent films are those produced by smaller subsidiaries of the major studios.
Buy Indie Films
In most cases, independent films in the wild are available for little to no cost at all. Buying or renting indie films is a low cost way of acknowledging the effort and keeping the community moving forward. The general viewing population will always lean towards the major studio films as they're drawn in by huge marketing campaigns. It's up to those of us on the inside to show up for our fellow filmmakers.
Give Good Reviews
Every film has at least one redeeming quality. When reviewing the work of your fellow indie filmmakers, it's so important to find that positive element and acknowledge it. It's no secret that the best approach for providing feedback is to lead with the positive and then provide constructive feedback, not criticism. Indie filmmakers are all at varying stages in their maturity, experience, and expertise. It's not our jobs to be judge and jury but to be advocates for their success.
Share With Friends
Word of mouth has always been the best marketing tool. Sharing indie films with friends spreads the love across the community, creating more opportunities for filmmakers to get paid for their work and to receive the constructive and positive feedback of their peers. Being an independent filmmaker is an uphill battle against studio might and the distraction of social media content. The only way we're going to win that battle is if we constantly enlist the support of those who are fighting for the same thing.
As filmmakers ourselves, we'd love for you to check out any one of our films and follow the steps above. We would certainly appreciate the support:
Thanks again to the great Motke Dapp for his support for the community. If you' like to see what he's been up to lately, check him out at http://www.motke.net.
Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.