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American Independent Films and Hollywood Studio Films: A Comparative Analysis using Clerks and Titanic - Essay Example

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American Independent Films and Hollywood Studio Films: A Comparative Analysis using Clerks (1994) and Titanic (1997) The American independent film is an industry birthed since the 1970s but which exploded in the 1990s owing to a spurt of interest and funding…
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American Independent Films and Hollywood Studio Films: A Comparative Analysis using Clerks and Titanic
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Download file to see previous pages The content of the film as well aims to give a frank portrayal of American life and demonstrates the ideals of the American independent film. On the other hand, Titanic (1997) is classic film which typifies high concept Hollywood cinema, contrasting greatly with the customary indie film. One of the landmarks of an American independent film is the low-budget to satisfy production costs. Film directors are not well-established enough to put out large sums of money to pay for exotic locations or to damage a lot of material. A cost efficient budge is necessary because often the money proceeds from the film director’s limited supply of funds or from unconventional funding. Characterizing American independent film Schamus summarizes that, “American independent scene is often stirred and inspired by tales of no-budget films – films made so cheaply that there is no significant economic risk involved in their production” (Schamus 1998, p. 98). Clerks (1994) is one such low-budget production costing as little as $27,575. However, this film gets off the ground. In the end, it generated over $3 million dollars in the USA. Kevin Smith independently financed this movie the capital which was earned from the sale of his prized comic book collection, his college education fund, loans from friends and family, and insurance money. Due to the financial constraints his Smith’s family acted in roles of this film. Hollywood and American independent film vastly differ financially from one another with high Hollywood budget and a firm foundation of investors. The sources of funds would usually come from a production company who already had millions of dollars for capital. The high-cost budget would be channelled toward paying professional actors and crew, distributors, and perks. For the production of Titanic (1997), director James Cameron sources almost $200 million dollars. However, in the end, he reaped an abundant harvest, grossing about $2 billion in profits worldwide, testifying that “the ties between high concept and marketing are numerous and strong” (Wyatt 1998, p. 109) American independent films are done almost single-handedly by film directors. They write the scripts, orchestrate the scenes and may even do some acting. Robert Rodriguez aka ‘One-man film crew’ stands as the paragon of directors of American independent film. Authoring the book, Rebel Without Crew, he describes his filmic initiative as he “would write two scripts both about the same character but I would film them on a low, low budget all by myself…” (Robert 1995, p. xv). His independent style of directing drives him to not only write the scripts but also to direct, edit sound, edit script, operate the camera, perform visual effects and accomplish production designing. In the classic American independent film Clerks (1994) is another film by Kevin Smith that fit the definition of the one-man crew. Kevin Smith directed, produced, edited and even starred Kevin Smith. He also did the cinematography. The independence of the American films is further enhanced by the worldviews of the directors which endorse most times a personal and radical perspective. On the other hand, for Hollywood high concept films, producers employ several members to carry out the task of production. An almost 2000-man crew and the major and minor actors numbering into the thousands consisted of the magnitude of staffing for Titanic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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