The long introduction to the indieLOOP DIY Film Group

When I created the DIY Film Group in indieLOOP a couple of days ago I wrote a brief description/introduction to it. Today I wrote a longer introduction that touches on some historical background and sets a supportive & creative, community oriented tone:

Ultra-low/"no"-budget D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) filmmaking and distribution/self-distribution, as odd or unusual as it may sound in light of the well known Hollywood or Indiewood production & distribution methods, is probably one of the most practiced methods of film production & distribution in the history of film in U.S.A. D.I.Y. Film, and all other D.I.Y. media making practices (depending on content of course), are very American in a positive sense: the focus on self-reliance, the belief that projects of staggering scopes may be accomplished chiefly through the ideas & labor of one or few people (with help from a lot of sympathizers, a community), the living-out of the democratic notion that each individual matters and is capable of accomplishing valuable things and becoming a positive & useful link in a community, and that size or wealth does not necessarily determine the outcome or that all is not hopeless for the player who seems like the underdog. D.I.Y. is hope for the financially ordinary/non-super-wealthy individual artists or collections of artists, specially in the creative entrepreneurial arena of motion pictures in America that is ruled by gigantic corporations with more money (and thus the ability to buy action & results) then most countries in this world.

How's that for a lofty introduction? Let's get down to the nuts & bolts. This DIY Film Group at indieLOOP was started on March 21, 2006 when indieWIRE publisher Brian Clark suggested to me that it would be cool to see such a group in this independent media social network. LOOP had made the tools available, so it was very easy for me to set up the group. LOOP DIY Film Group can be: a space where we can get encouragement by seeing that others are doing what we do or plan on doing (such as Joe Swanberg making not one but two movies each for under $5,000, playing them at prominent festivals, entering the distribution realm), a place to hang out & talk with each other/like minded artists, a place to promote our projects (perhaps like MySpace we will have samples of our work to check out here, film instead of music in our case), also a place to celebrate the awesome history of indie/DIY film - a place where names such as Jon Moritsugu, Oscar Micheaux, Sarah Jacobson, and yes, even the excellent & about to be widely distributed Caveh Zahedi (inspite of Caveh's recent stress-induced, let's hope, statement that DIY is a "myth" - which he recanted pretty much immediately), Liz Nord, John Cassavetes, Andrew Bujalski are mentioned regularly, and, most importantly, a place where a curious visitor can get a snapshot of the PRESENT and the awesome future scene of truly independent, ultra-low budget, often self-distributed, hopefully always creatively brave U.S. & elsewhere based filmmakers.

Once you join the group, feel free to make it fully yours. This group is essentially a pure democracy (w/ some minor oversight by yours truly & Brian Clark), use your best judgment and participate fully in the community, offer your ideas & talk about your projects, the industry, whatever seems relevant to this space. Everyone here is important & valuable, their projects & their opinions are important & valuable too. I would like to see this space grown into a place where indie filmmakers can go to have a comfortable space to talk to others, talk about their own projects and generally grow as artists & entrepreneurs and collectively as a positive community.

Thanks a lot for being part of something new, exciting & let's hope :), very, very good, fun, nutritious & of course super-delicious like 10,000 juicy peeled, ripe, golden mangos covered with honey & whipped cream.

Sujewa Ekanayake
March 23, 2006

Visit the LOOP DIY Film Group through here. !Thanksalot!