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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Indie Directors Going Big Time

David Gordon Green (winner of the Southeastern Media Award at the Atlanta Film Festival in 2000) makes his big studio debut with Pineapple Express, which opened on Wednesday. He is not the first indie director to find success in the mainstream. Last year's Judd Apatow hit Superbad was directed by Greg Mottola (The Daytrippers), and I don't think it's a coincidence that the resurgence of comic book superhero movies has been largely led by indie auteurs like Christopher Nolan (who did Following and Memento before taking on Batman), Bryan Singer (who made a name on the festival circuit with Public Access and The Usual Suspects prior to launching X-Men), and Sam Raimi (who created the Evil Dead trilogy before moving on to the Spiderman trilogy). Studios have discovered that directors who have strived for artistic integrity in their independent films can work with and bring something special to consumer driven big budget films.

New York Magazine has noticed a trend that Apatow produced movies tend to be better when directed by someone with proven indie chops, and asked Green who he thought would make a good indie director for an Apatow comedy. Green's answer was Thomas McCarthy, who attended the 2008 Atlanta Film Festival Closing Night with his film The Visitor, which has gone on to be the indie hit of the summer.

Film festivals are not only great places to see good movies, but they are also a chance to discover new talent, some of whom could go on to direct that franchise. New York Magazine continues with suggestions on what other indie directors should join team Apatow, and two of their picks have shown films at the Atlanta Film Festival - Nicole Holofcener (Lovely & Amazing in 2002) and Andrew Bujalski (Mutual Appreciation in 2005).


Gabe said...

Let's not forget IRON MAN director Jon Favreau's indie roots.

Gabe said...

You could say, he was MADE by his indie cred...