A look at 9 amazing indie horror filmmakers who stay in the game no matter the cost
Once there was a time when indie horror filmmakers could round up some dough, make a movie, get it out there and make some money, enough to live on and even make more movies. Credit Roger Corman, the father of the indie genre film, for creating the blueprint for the business back in the late 1950s, a model he perpetuated with American International Pictures throughout the 1960s and then, in the 1970s and early ’80s with his own studio, the lamented New World Pictures.
Corman’s method of spending little, maximizing production value and creating a great marketing campaign trickled down to every aspect of the industry and, famously, many of our most important filmmakers learned their trade from working by his side. When the home video market exploded in the ’80s, not only did Corman find even more success but so did dozens of other young would-be moguls and filmmakers who made tons of low-budget and fun junk for an insatiable new audience starved for cheap thrills.
Indeed, to make movies with monsters, sex, violence and general mayhem was once a booming businesses.
But when the internet came to call, it was the wild west all over again and the business changed. For the worse. Making money off distribution was compromised by wanton piracy and younger audiences refusing to pay for product. The rental business died. Hard media was – and continues to be – on the decline and filmmakers have been flailing. Now, with the advent of cheap pro-sumer technology, anyone can make a movie. But that’s the problem. Everyone IS making a movie. Now there is too much product and not enough people to consume it, or at least PAY to consume it.
So, to survive, indie horror filmmakers have had to hustle. They’ve had to spin ten times more plates than usual, they’ve had to adapt, live leaner, alter their philosophies. They’ve had to make themselves more visible, had to get on the street and shuck their wares, had to exploit any and all technology and social media platforms at their disposal to get seen and keep the lights on.
Only the strong are surviving.
So today, here, we’ve opted to select 9 of the hardest working filmmakers, distributors and one man/woman brands alive and thriving (or at least, surviving) today. These are brave and bold adventurers who love what they love and refuse to go gently into that good night. Some have survived the decades, constantly re-inventing themselves. Some were professionally “born” into this treacherous new terrain. But all of them are fighting with ferocity to make the movies they want to make and still find ways to feed their families.
And if you’re an aspiring filmmaker, steer clear of the mainstream. You won’t find much help there. Instead, learn from these blue-collar warriors who roll up their sleeves and get the job done, hell or high water.
Have a look…