Saturday 3 March 2012

The rise of filmmaking collectives

The idea of a filmmaking collective is not new. D.W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks formed United Artists way back in in 1919, because they wanted to produce and distribute their own films.  

The Amber Film collective in Newcastle upon Tyne has been around since at least the 1970s. They abide by the dictum: Whoever paints the wall chooses the colour.

The Berwick Street Film Collective of London flourished in the 1970s. The Dogme 95 group, with director Lars von Trier, in the late 1990s and 2000s focused on filmmaking based on the traditional values of story, acting, and theme, and excluded the use of elaborate special effects or technology.

Film collectives continue to spring up around the world. Included among them are:
A couple of years ago, the New York Times ran an article about Nash Edgerton and  Blue Tongue Films called Filmmakers With Shared Grit. 
I think the longer we have been around, we have all understood the value of moving in packs: the strength of support, the pooling of ideas and equipment and the kudos of associating with each other. Joel Edgerton
A new generation of filmmakers in their 20s and 30s are forming affiliated groups—with names like Court 13, Blue-Tongue Films and Borderline Films—to produce modestly budgeted films that are being acquired by studios like Fox Searchlight and IFC Films.
Everything old is new again. If you can't storm the gates of Hollywood, maybe you can can organise the equivalent of a studio by getting a like-minded group of friends together and making your film that way. Just remember: Whoever paints the wall chooses the colour.

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