This assignment asks you to write a biographical essay about three independent film producers. In this case, independent film producers refers to producers who work outside of the Hollywood system, and have made their marks with small, relatively low budget films, e.g., Brother McMullen, Napoleon Dynamite, Clerks, Paranormal Activities, etc. As we’ve discussed in class some independent producers often act as directors. You are free to profile these artists as well.
You may choose any independent producers you like, however, you may not write about major established Hollywood brand filmmakers such as Spielberg, Scorcese, Cameron, Eastwood, Bigelow, Nolan, etc. Your essay will include biographical portraits about where these artists grew up, their college backgrounds (if applicable,) mentors, film inspirations, earliest films, artistic philosophies and how they secured funding.
Please note you are also free to “theme” your paper with producers of similar backgrounds, e.g., three African American filmmakers, three women filmmakers, three gay filmmakers, etc.
It is important to integrate concepts from lectures, class discussions, Internet assignments and overall independent film industry trends in your paper. For example, budgets are shrinking, women are seeking greater representation, streaming services are providing new outlets, etc.
This essay should be in-depth, incisive, thought-provoking and well researched. The essay should be about 2,000 words and contain a minimum of 8 sources. You are free to select a mix of sources including scholarly publications, university studies, established online newspapers and magazines and media industry trade journals (Variety, Hollywood Reporter.) Incorporate class lectures, discussions and readings if applicable.
If you are stuck trying to find indie filmmakers you may consider:
Alexander Payne, Wes Anderson, Zach Braff, Kevin Smith, Sofia Coppola, Woody Allen, and Noah Baumbach.