Without studio financing in place, indie producers must independently raise money to bring their visions to life, which can be a difficult and lengthy journey. Even if they successfully raise enough money for production, there is still no guarantee of distribution once a film is complete. In the article “Studio-Pendent Deals Have Pros, Cons for Filmmakers,” published in the Daily Journal, Associate Marisa Kapust discusses the pros and cons of the increasingly common approach of larger studios teaming up with independent producers on low-budget films.
The studio financing approach can alleviate a great deal of risk and stress involved with financing independent films. “The model also ensures that the producers will receive a fee regardless of whether the film is profitable, as well as a potential share of the profits,” Ms. Kapust writes.
On the other hand, the main downside to this model is that the indie producer is no longer in the driver’s seat. Like most producers, indie producers prefer to make decisions and call the shots, but with the studio financing model, studios typically take control of the wheel. Some believe that this undercuts the principles of true independent filmmaking.
While the studio-pendent approach involves less risk, filmmakers who choose this option might not have the freedom to create whatever types of film they want. But for indie producers or filmmakers who are willing to make films without total artistic freedom, teaming up with a studio may be worthwhile.