I just read an article by Antoinette Jadaone on today’s Philippine Star’s Supreme section. She is an indie film writer and director. Her article is about her recent indie film, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay, not being treated well by the local public in spite of being received well by the foreign critics and even received awards. After been applauded by the foreign watchers, she decided to show the movie commercially. And this how the article goes.
The article is about the hardship of creating a movie and promoting it. She stated how they beg for theaters to show their film and friends to watch the movie. The movie didn’t turn out well on profit term.
Here is my thought. You don’t create an indie film and expect it to be well received by the mass. It may receive applauds and awards, but the judgment of ordinary movie goers is different. The ones who praised the said movie were, I suppose, movie critics, who are professional and paid to watch and judge movies. They choose movies that are well crafted, not only entertaining. But the mass chooses movies that entertain because they choose with their budget. We pay to watch movies, not paid to watch movies.
High costs and low wages means tight budget. Because of this, we must carefully choose where to burn our hard-earned money. We choose to pay for entertainment where we can escape from our problems, politics, or just from reality.
Don’t get me wrong, I like indie films. Sometimes, I even like them better than commercial movies. Indie films don’t have star actors and special effects to show, just a story to tell. And it’s good enough for me. Unlike commercial movies that show actors that can’t act with silly (and stupid) stories. I actually have the movie review on Yanggaw, an indie film, saved on my draft waiting to be post sometime. I love the movie.
I guess that the local audiences are not ready for such movies yet. They rather watch dumb movies and teleseryes. I’m not an expert but if you want people to watch your movie, spend on promotion and a good trailer. People wouldn’t know that your product exists if they had not seen it. That’s reason why billions are spent for promotion and advertisement. I know this is not a revelation. But promoting it on Facebook and Twitter is not enough. And we can’t blame the theaters. It’s just business. Why they have to lend a place for couple of bucks if they can use it and earn millions?
But if I’m going to own theaters or mall with theaters, I will lend one for indie movies because I’m a big fan of art, especially of starting artists be it a band, painter, director, writer, whatever.
For Antoinette, you are young and I’m sure you will create several good movies in the future and time will come that your name will be big in which your name will be enough reason to watch your movies.