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Working in the film industry can be an uphill battle; you need passion, equipment, knowledge of the industry, connections, funds, and exposure; still, every year, countless indie filmmakers throw their hats into the ring to get films seen by the world. For many years, it’s been all about who you know, and as far as writers and actors are both concerned, starting out can be very difficult. If you’re an indie filmmaker getting the exposure your film deserves can be the single most significant challenge you can face, next to producing the film itself. Still, in recent years the industry has been changing thanks to the advent of streaming services. Before, you had to apply to festivals, gain connections, attend conventions, and do countless hours of “boots on the ground” work to even have a chance of your film being seen. But with streaming services, you have the potential to have your movie directly debuted to potentially massive audiences; however, not all streaming services are equal, and each has its benefits, risks, and barriers of entry.

Accessibility of Movies

For a long time, being a filmmaker was a very exclusive club; from the earliest days of Hollywood to just a few years ago, the process of producing and airing your films was daunting, and in many ways, it still is. Due to the competitive nature of the movie industry, many movies were forced to go straight to DVD, leaving either unseen or underappreciated by the public. However, thanks to the variety of options available for indie filmmakers in today’s industry, the era of the bargain bin, straight to DVD films, is slowly becoming a thing of the past. 

As online streaming has exploded, there is now no shortage of services to apply. From independent streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to the countless studio-run services like Paramount+ and Disney+, you have more options than ever before. However, just because a service can host your movie doesn’t always mean they will give your movie exposure. Sadly, it is often the case with larger streaming services that indie films, in particular, can become lost in the shuffle and become “just another title.” That is why we created FilmHighway; we cater specifically to indie filmmakers, with a platform to debut each film directly to our audience without the competition of countless mainstream titles, so up and coming actors and screenwriters have a much greater chance at getting the recognition they deserve.

More Opportunity to be Recognized

Like was mentioned before, having your work available in more places that are commonly viewed means that people are much more likely to give it a chance. In addition, streaming services are often subscription-based, if not free, so no one has to take a chance when they watch your movie. Before streaming services, it was much more difficult, as watching the movie required you to purchase it ahead of time. While it wasn’t always a big fee – it’s much easier to pick something you’re unsure of when it’s free.

It’s also easier for your talent to be recognized by people in the industry. All it takes is for your show or movie to take off on these film streaming services, and your role is highlighted that much more. It’s not something that new actors would have had much chance with before – so this is an overall positive impact for everyone trying to make it in the acting and filmmaking scene.

No Need for Large Investments

Upfront costs are a real challenge for indie filmmakers, both in the film’s production and, sadly, its hosting. However, some platforms do allow for free hosting, such as Youtube. For some films, these platforms have been successful; however, due to the nature of Youtube’s algorithm and the method for gaining revenue from these platforms, it can be a gamble to use them if you’re looking to make a long-term profit on your film. But for many, it’s not always about the money, sometimes it’s just about trying to get yourself in the spotlight. You never know, your work could go viral, and just like that, you have something to show for all your hard work. At the very least, it will make an excellent addition to your portfolio – especially if it receives a favorable response from the audience. So you should carefully evaluate what you want to get from your hosting service before choosing your hosting platform. 

Not every Indie filmmaker has a decent amount of money to shoot a film, so it’s an excellent opportunity to get your foot in the door without having to break the bank. When getting into the industry is a gamble anyway, then having the chance to get noticed on a small budget can invaluable.

Much More Support for Smaller Industry Workers

While most of these streaming services don’t place a high priority on indie filmmakers, they do still allow you to have the opportunity for your film to find a spotlight; there is still a large amount of chance with any streaming service, but your odds are still far better than they were before the advent of these platforms. Because of this, it allows for each filmmaker, actor, technician, and industry professional to have a better chance of their efforts paying off; from the funds you gain from your chosen platform to the portfolio boosting the strength of having your film hosted on a major, or minor, streaming platform. 

Not only are those shows put in the spotlight, but there are often programs that are out looking for up-and-coming new talents that they can feature in their shows. It’s not going to be an opportunity that you see often, so if one pops up near you, you should absolutely jump at it. One opportunity can be a complete game-changer, and if you consider yourself to be a promising filmmaker – it could be your big break, and Film Highway can offer you the chance to invest in yourself.

Bigger Space for Original Concepts

Like we mentioned before, when everything was physically in the cinema, it was often hard to see new concepts hitting the big screen. A lot of the directors that were popular remained popular, and it wasn’t easy to see something new. Now that there are plenty of streaming services available and popular among the public, there’s a much bigger space for you to show off something different. People want to try new things, they just need the opportunity to do so without risk. When you don’t have to pay for it, a completely new experience is much more enticing – so Indie filmmakers who are looking to show off something original have the chance to do so.

A Change in Opinion

It’s not easy to trust in people who are new to the industry, especially if you’re a producer looking to pick up something big – but that opinion has been changing. With all of these indie films and shows that are coming out and taking off, people are a lot more open-minded to watching things that aren’t produced by familiar labels. The movie industry doesn’t have to be so exclusive, or written and produced by one person; it can be much more interesting and broad. People are learning to expand their interests, and having a lot of new people in the industry is helping to bring a completely new meaning to the word “original”. New twists, new stories, and new spins on things that already exist; there’s room for it all and we have it here at FilmHighway!