How To Make A Hit Independent Film

Posted: March 23, 2010 by kaostheory in Informative
Tags: , , , ,

Hahaha holy shit! Did you see that intern’s face? Oh my God, that is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. The size of his EYES…

(Uh, KT. We’re live. – ed.)

Again? Really? Why the hell doesn’t anyone warn me about these things?

(We did. About twenty times. Just get this done. – ed.)

Fine. Okay, so I’m sure many of you are wondering how I am here while I’m supposed to instead be in federal custody. Well, through a series of wacky events, I actually managed to pin the “Worst Domestic Terrorist Act In United States History”, as those hyperbolic media jackals are calling it, on our new intern, Rick. I think you all met him last time. In any case, I’m free to go about my daily life and he will more than likely get the death penalty. Womp womp.

(That’s horrible. And kind of hilarious. – ed.)

Anywho, I’m here and raring to get started on today’s article. And talk about your softball jokes! That’s right, folks. I’m here to instruct you in the ways to create a commercially viable independent film or an “indie flick” if you want to sound like a pretentious ballsack. We here at DECF have managed to define some of the most basic elements you need to appeal to douches in skinny jeans, hornrim glasses and wool sweaters.
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First off – and absolutely most importantly – you have to create a soundtrack. The soundtrack is what is going to define your movie. Fuck, you can even get away without a coherent PLOT if you have a good soundtrack. There are few different ways to go about this. The first way would be to take your iPod (branded of COURSE with stickers on it like ‘Save the whales’, ‘No nukes is good nukes’, and ‘I wish to know Noam Chomsky carnally’) and put it on shuffle, taking the first fifteen or twenty songs that come up and make those your soundtrack. Obviously, there’s not going to be anything GOOD in there like Iron Maiden or Metallica. It’ll be stuff from bands like Ice Elephant or Woe Betide Mine Broken Heart or Happy Dancing Flower Fuckers. Soft, barely melodic stuff meant to create a “mood” rather than explore any semblance of what could reasonably be called musical virtuosity. You know, bitch stuff. You could also contract ONE band to make the music for the movie. That way the movie intermingles with the quiet bullshit of the band in a blend of stuff nobody really wants to experience. Finally, you could just make your own music for it, complete with untuned guitars, fluffy piano music and howling like a wolf in heat. Congratulations, you’re already halfway to your goal.

Alright, now that that’s taken care of, let’s move on to the plot. To begin with, you have to decide which particular social ill you want to make an incredibly heavy-handed commentary on. Maybe you feel really strongly about abortion. The movie revolves around deciding whether to buttfuck the baby out of existence! Tired of your friends getting tweaky on coke or meth and writing shitty-ass indie songs? Drug use that is tearing someone’s life – and the lives of those around him or her – apart, usually with tragic consequences. How about the wars in the Middle East? Make your characters indulge in marijuana (which obviously hurts nobody) while talking about how horrible it is and what they should do to take care of it while they sit there doing SHIT and getting high. Or what the hell, maybe one of your tertiary characters is experiencing racism or (God forbid) homophobia at school or in the workplace. Their pain has to be chronicled. Whatever particular social problem offends your liberal sensibilities the most, make that part of the plot. It’s an automatic winner.

Next up, the main character which HAS to be (seriously, is required to be) an author surrogate. He walks like you, talks like you, has the exact same political and social views as you, has the same musical and film tastes you do, wrestles with the same self-confidence issues as you, has the same mental problems you have to deal with on a daily basis, has the same sense of humor and proclivity for shitty-ass one-liners as you do and probably even looks like you. You know what? Why don’t YOU play that character? You should. Just get it over with. We all know you’re going to anyways. Seriously, you would be doing the world a disservice if you didn’t just play the lead in your own film because no other actor could possibly understand the nuances of your personality. Go ahead, expose the world to your shitty acting. It’s part of the charm of your movies, Zach Braff! I mean…theoretical independent filmmaker.

Parker Posey. I mean, that just kinda goes without saying. Your movie really gets legitimacy in the market if she’s your mom or older girlfriend or – hey, why the fuck not – BOTH. Cross that incest-y line like a pro.

You absolutely have to be sure to create a Manic Pixie Dream Girl as your female lead. What’s an MPDG? It’s complicated but we’ll break it down as best we can for you. She is one of those free spirit girls who just loves life and art and wearing clothes that make her look like a hobo and fancy coffee drinks and being a perpetual student and never being unhappy and creativity and absolutely most of all YOUR CHARACTER’S BROODING ARTSINESS. Since the lead is basically YOU, he’s going to be a snarky, bitter, tortured artist who can’t seem to find the motivation to make anything because what’s the point life is so dull and colorless. But when SHE comes along, the world bursts into brilliant primary colors, the sun shines down more brightly and with her as your muse, you can’t see to fail! You will be a world-famous artist and with this lovely creature on your arm, you will rule the market! Ugh.

Nudity! Obviously when you and your MPDG consummate your forever-love, she has to get her tits out. It’s kind of a rule at this point.

In the course of the movie, you definitely need to have at least one broken relationship. Maybe your lead is conflicted about whether or not he loves his muse (or girlfriend). Maybe someone new comes along that’s fresh and exciting and offers him a world that maybe makes him feel young again. Maybe he’s concerned about his age so he goes back to her place and sleeps – but not sexes – with her. Maybe he forgets his keys and goes back and actually fucks her, making the conscious decision to torpedo his life. Maybe he gets thrown out by his incredibly understandably pissed and hurt fiancee who GOD DAMNIT FUCK YOU ZACH BRAFF YOUR FUCKING SHITTY MOVIE MADE ME SO MAD I NEARLY THREW UP YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR ANTEATER FACE YOU TALENTLESS –

(Sorry folks. It’ll be just a moment. We apologize for the interruption. – ed.)

Your dialogue needs to be witty. Everyone has the perfect line for every situation and it makes them just so likeable. Unless, of course, part of the charm of the character is to be tongue-tied and shy, which makes them both cute and mysterious to the other person. All the same, your OTHER characters have to have razor-sharp mental ability and the gusto to be so perfectly sarcastic and funny at the right moment. It gives your movie its feel – just like every other one.

Finally, you have to make sure your movie is infused with lots of “irony”. If you make it post-post-anti-modernist-cum-structuralist-ironic with a bit of sub-underground-existentialism…congratulations, you’ve just made an indie flick, even though ironic doesn’t mean what you think it means.

So now you’ve made it. Good job.

Bon appetit, jackass.
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(Jeez, KT. Little worked up there? – ed.)

I would rather take a watermelon up the tailpipe than write this article again.

(And this is how we go out. With an anal joke. Fantastic. Good night, readers. – ed.)

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