How to Make an Indie Movie

by F.

Think Zach Braff should stop wasting oxygen and just expire? Me too. We were sitting in the theater a few weeks ago waiting for The Devil Wears Prada to begin (yes, it sucked) and saw a trailer for The Last Kiss. We both burst out laughing. I mean, The Breakfast Club was fresh, too—once. Indie movies have become as oxymoronic as alternative music.

Anyhoo, for a primer on how to make an indie, check out HTWS.B. Here’s a taste of the crazy-delicious goodness to be found therein:

Luckily, there are only two types of indie movie – quirky comedy or downbeat drama – and both are hilariously simple to write.

a. Quirky Comedy: Take your stock characters from your TV movie and give them a completely incongruous character beat. Maybe the lovestruck hero of your tale collects left shoes. Maybe the life-affirming girl of his dreams constantly doodles butterflies with human faces on napkins. It really doesn’t matter – just keep it goofy and adorable. A man who makes finger puppets from the skulls of puppies is probably just going to freak people out.

b. Downbeat Drama: Take your stock characters from your TV movie and pour buckets of sweaty misery and damp, awful misfortune into their lives. Give your main character a collapsed lung that makes every second syllable a painful, rib-wracking wheeze. Make your female lead permanently pregnant with a calcified goat foetus. Hell, amputate a few limbs at the start of the second act. Give all the characters Super Contagious AIDS Cancer ten pages from the end. The further you take it, the more people will howl at the transcendent humanity of the story. Remember: Halle Berry won an Oscar for Monster’s Ball.

Again, don’t be content with a taste; sop up all the juices at HTWS.B

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