If life was really like it is portrayed on TV we would all be living in nice homes or apartments in a big city and meeting with friends daily and at restaurants arguing over who is going to pick up the check. The reality is more of us live in small towns than big cities, and even more of us have to live week to week and even the idea of eating in restaurants is a pipe dream.
I remember a time when TV was populated with shows about people struggling to make ends meet. It seems today that TV & movie producers think the only reality that happens is in the backyards of their upper class neighborhoods. Big studios are seriously disconnected from their audiences in my opinion. This is where the indie filmmaker shines is in being a part of the work-a-day world struggling to make dreams come true, let alone get by from week to week.
Then why aren’t more reviewers scrambling to review indie films if they and their filmmakers are more inline with their realities?
I think we’ve become conditioned to thinking that the norm is something we’ve not attained and kissing up (I changed this from what I originally said) to someone who has attained, or more likely inherited it, is somehow going to rub off on us and elevate us. Sucking up (again, changed it) to the rich for some hope of favor is nothing new in society. Royalty was regularly showered with gifts from the common people, as required, and it’s still common for those with fame and fortune to receive gratuities.
There are reviewers who won’t even consider indie films. I break them down into two classes. There are those who keep up with Hollywood and its movies and organize weekly reviews and podcasts and literally don’t have the time to investigate other areas. The second is a group of wannabees who envision being the next Roger Ebert and sucking up (again, changed it) to big studios is somehow going to get them recognized, apparently for their sucking abilities, and somehow elevate them. The latter group is best to avoid as their drive is not a love for movies and art but a love for recognition.
It’s amazing how I can start off with one intent for an article and go completely elsewhere. There is a symbiotic relationship though between my intent and where I ended up. I started off talking about small towns and the misrepresentation of the norm by big media. Well this happens, apparently, on the internet too.
I live in a small town. Internet at times is like a coin toss. Not only do small towns not get the same reliability as big cities, there is also a greater degree of incompetence in those running things.
Having the technology does not mean someone knows how to use it. I lived in an even smaller town for about a year (a huge mistake on my part) and during one winter they pre-treated the roads with brine. Throughout the entire town and environs they only treated the single lane they drove in; not both lanes. They had the technology, they were just too incompetent to know how to use it.
Poorer service to start with coupled with incompetence means that for many of us who live in small towns internet in neither very fast nor reliable. Yet a lot of the perception online seems to be that everyone has the same internet as in the big cities; and even thinking internet in some neighborhoods in the big cities is reliable is probably a misconception too.
My connection has been even more limited for a while since the fiasco with my landlord. He by no means intended to cause me any difficulty. It’s like I said before about those having the technology but having no idea how to use it. He almost literally thinks computers and the internet are magical and will take care of themselves. Twice, including this most recent time, he has had routers changed and actually thought the sign-ins and passwords would magically be the same. Not only did this last time leave me scrambling to get some kind of connection but I also had to reset the logins on their computers.
My connection is about 25% of what it was. And this is vastly improved compared to only a few weeks ago. Sometimes even with a good connection the internet comes to a near standstill because nobody, competent that is, is monitoring the servers.
The last movie I downloaded for review was a 1GB file and took 4 hours to download. With a good connection it shouldn’t take me much more than an hour to download that size of file, but that is as good as it gets.
Those of us living in small towns are doing the best with what we have available. Indie filmmakers are doing the best with what they have available. If you are a reviewer and want to sneer at indie filmmakers not being worth your while, the next time you have an internet glitch and are having trouble just trying to write a review, take into account that what you are going through sitting on your ass is less than 1% of what an indie filmmaker has to go through just to be snubbed by you.