Indie Reality: Most Films Stink

    By Robert Marich
        July 2, 2008 – Discussions of what ails the hardscrabble indie-film sector usually miss the two most salient points: it is inherently unprofitable and most of the films produced are stinkers in terms of audience appeal.
    Film producer Mark Gill broke a taboo by squarely addressing the latter speaking at the Los Angeles Film Festival last week. “Most of the films are flat-out awful,” said Mr. Gill, the head of the independent company The Film Department. “Trust me, I have had to sit through tons of them over the years.”
    He noted the Sundance Film Festival attracts hundreds of indie films a year to its various venues and most sink into well-deserved obscurity afterwards, costing their financial bankers dearly. By Gill’s count, 5,000 films are made a year and only 600 get significant theatrical release, which includes major-studio films.
    It can be added that some might get a decent return as DVD premieres. TV channels have mostly quit buying such “busted” theatricals, finding it’s a better investment to spend program funds for TV series, in search of the next Sopranos.
    A New York Times article on Gill’s speech notes except for the rare indie gem like Little Miss Sunshine and Juno, "the rest of the (indie) movies — lots of moody family stories, dysfunctional parables and eat-your-vegetables documentaries — come and go without notice in these long, hot summer months." 
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