Just How Indie Are
The Indie Oscar Contenders?

By Justin McGoldrick

Though Raindance supports films that cost 20,000 times less than the cheapest of this year’s Oscar nominees, we are happy(?) to see that some lower budget pics made it into the mainstream foray this year.

Why don’t we take a look at some of the films whose budgets are considerably lower than the nominations created by powerhouse studios such as Disney (whose three nominations – “Toy Story 3,” “Alice In Wonderland,” and “Tangled” – were budgeted at around $200 mil and are the most expensive films in the running this year).

How about those films with more than one nomination that cost under $15 mil to make? Ought we rate them based on their “Indie-ness”? My friends, I dare say we ought:

Black Swan 5. Black Swan

Budget ($13 million)
There are a dozen accolades we could offer up to “Black Swan,” but the one we’ll stick with is “what a work of art.” It cost about as much to make as the “The King’s Speech” – the two being the most expensive productions on the list – and the budget is impressive especially considering Natalie Portman’s rising price. Bad news is that this could potentially be the last film Aronofsky makes for cheap, depending on how 20th Century Fox treats him while working on “The Wolverine.”

The King's Speech 4. The King’s Speech

Budget ( ($13 million)
It’s no secret that Raindance likes “The King’s Speech.” It swept the awards at BIFA in December and is looking to sweep some more during the Oscars with 12 nominations. The Guardian has already noted it as “the most successful British film ever.” The film loses points for its list of A-List British actors; it seems that at least half of the cast has appeared in Harry Potter at some time over the past ten years. Then again, it wouldn’t have succeeded without its talent.

Biutiful 3. Biutiful

Budget (($? million)
I’ll preface this by saying that I haven’t seen “Biutiful,” but the footage in the trailer sure is pretty. I don’t feel qualified to comment more on it, other than that it was co-produced [link: http://www.raindance.org/site/film-finance-a-basic-primer] between Mexico and Spain, which is one of the only ways European independent films can get enough funding anymore. It’ll be a tight a race between Firth and Bardem... at least from what I hear about his performance.

The Kids Are All Right2. The Kids Are All Right

Budget (($4 million) -
Wow. Only 4 million bucks in the budget and you get Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, and Alice in Wonderland. That’s pretty remarkable stuff considering that the filmmakers needed money to, you know, actually film and edit the movie. This, along with our #1 on the list, is already released onto DVD – a key indicator that it is indie as opposed to not. After all, how could a DVD ever sell without ‘4 Academy Award Nominations’ stamped on the cover?

Winter's Bone1. Winter’s Bone

Budget (($2 million) - You saw this coming – probably because you didn’t see this movie coming - unless you’ve been following news on Raindance veteran Matthew Vaughn’s new X-Men movie and his casting of Jennifer Lawrence. This is the clear winner. With no recognizable cast names, heavy drug themes, and the lowest budget, it is without a doubt the most indie film of this year’s Oscars. We’re putting our money on “The King’s Speech” for Best Picture, but we always love a nice sneak attack.

So what does it all mean, Basil? Well, we already know that Hollywood rarely invests in good scripts, so perhaps we’re seeing a shift. Maybe studios are realizing that the best scripts can be the cheapest to make.

Or maybe not. 2011 is looking like it’s going to have the most franchise expansions of all time. Something like 27 prequels/ sequels/ reboots. Grab your hammer and break open those piggy banks now.

Your Comments Please

MONSTERS  is not there but this cool film was produced
from a new young man-who is gone through hard scool
and fits with a butget arrount 190-200 thousand grants

a film that has his own skill and storie.


many young (ore old)  film-nerds sit in and maybe say

oh this effect ore that- but- i klie this way the monsters
came in a simple way and do what they must do and go part of
the whoule film-


so..... how would this MAN work if he gets ONLY 2MILLION?
and i would be gald to wirte his nEXT SCRIPT.

think he has an pipe for ideas and solving things if money is not
but simple do it in another way.

and one littel.  yes i use maya  may belnder vue c4d  and all the thechniques of avatar.
but just to tell a
what ever it is-  hope it impress the audience and make this feeling....



Re; The Kings Speech
and BBC's Pride and Prejudice!!!


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About The Author

Justin McGoldrickEminem summed it up when he rapped, "Back to reality, oh there goes gravity."

Living once again in Philadelphia, Justin McGoldrick continues to pursue a degree in Film & Media Arts and a certificate in Creative Writing at Temple University.

He enjoys telling stories through nonfiction news segments, poetry, experimental film, and narrative scripts. Traveling, biking, tutoring, socializing, and charity work fill up his free time in the City of Brotherly Love.

Follow Justin on Twitter!


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Just How Indie Are the Indie Contenders?