Redefining Indie Film


The term ‘indie’, or independent, once referred to a precise do-it-yourself approach to creating culture. It was regarded as an alternative to Hollywood’s blockbuster films and a resistance to big-budget productions. Today, the meaning of ‘indie’ has come to represent more of an art-house flavour than a true position outside of the mainstream, as major movie studios now promote their own versions of ‘indie’ media.


Using movie trailers as examples, this workshop will enable you to identify marketing techniques employed by the industry to sell the notion of ‘indie’, and specifically how it seeks to distinguish ‘indie’ from the blockbuster. Participants will enact their own press junket for a movie release in order to develop an insider’s perspective on how they are targeted as ‘indie’ audiences. Just as important, they will learn to recognize the accessible production technologies, free distribution channels, and user-friendly editing software that are easily available, acquiring the knowledge necessary to propose their own informed statements on how ‘indie’ should be defined.


1. Explore the evolving nature of independent and non-professional movies and music.
2. Deconstruct and apply various marketing techniques for blockbuster and art-house/“indie”-flavour films released by Hollywood.
3. Generate a manifesto for independent media production and envision the means to support it.

[Media Literacy Workshops designed by Liz Schulze, Mitchell Stookey + Wendy Chen]