Why writers should support independent film companies, not just publishers

I’ve talked a lot this year about why it’s important for writers to support small publishers and how we can do that, but today I’d like to discuss why it’s also important for us to seek out–and support–independent film companies.

Here’s the thing: independent film companies and small entertainment companies hire writers. Sure, some of them are probably run by writers eager to make their stories come to life, but most of these companies are run by other industry professionals–in movies it’s often producers or directors–who have spent all, or at least most, of their lives studying and working in the industry.

These companies need people like us. Without a writer, there’s no script, and without a script, there’s no movie. They cannot do the amazing work they do if there is no story to bring to life.

They also need writers for a myriad of other things, unless one of the founders happens to be a skilled writer. They need somebody to write press releases, blog posts, web copy and other promotional copy. Many film companies, particularly in Canada, also rely largely on grants–and becoming a grant writer is a great way to make a living as a writer.

Whether or not you’ve ever written a script, I’m pretty sure we’ve all daydreamed about having our books turned into movies. A greater number of independent film companies means a greater chance you’ll sell your film rights. It also means more awesome movies, opportunities for newbie script writers and opportunities for other artists of all kinds. Many of the best films are a marriage of all the arts, with stunning visual effects, music and of course stories.

But here’s the thing: these companies need our support to create these opportunities. They don’t have the massive budget Hollywood does to send out a barrage of advertisements in every form imaginable. Of course any good film company will work hard to market their films, but these companies rely far more on word of mouth than Hollywood films do, especially because so many of today’s Hollywood films are already built on bestselling novels or comics.

If you watch a fantastic movie created by an independent film company, share it with the world. Review it, or just mention it somewhere on social media. If you truly loved a film, odds are you have a few friends who would enjoy it too, so why not mention it to them? Few people are upset when you introduce them to a good movie.

When it comes to an independent film company, every voice matters. They need every positive review, every share on social media so much more because there’s simply only so much money a small company can put into marketing.

So why do I have independent film companies on the brain?

Well there are a few reasons, including a course I’m taking and a film I’m actually working on–more on those will come later–but right now I’m thinking about it a lot because of an excellent independent film company I discovered recently, Arrowstorm Entertainment.

I’ve now watched almost all the Arrowstorm Entertainment movies and decided that they are, if not the best independent film company focused on science fiction and fantasy, certainly the best one I know of. I’ve loved every single movie I’ve watched by them, and I’m excited to watch the two I haven’t seen yet.

I’m also really excited about the upcoming sequel to their most recent movie, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes. The sequel is already completely filmed and they’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund all the special effects they need to pull off a great final fantasy film.

I’ve already funded the Kickstarter campaign for Mythica 2, and I’m eagerly awaiting my signed DVDs. And I’m already hoping to contribute more to their next campaign, because I believe they’re doing amazing work and because someday I hope to work with a company very much like them to make movies of my own.

Have you thought much about supporting independent film companies? Are there any small film companies you particularly love? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!