Currently at it’s peak, the indie film scene offers a vast realm of opportunities for actors. Either you are starting your career or simply exploring new acting spectrum, independent films have a lot of benefits to offer. Having started my acting career in independent short and feature-length films, I will go through the advantages of acting in them.
Grow as an artist
When I graduated from acting school, I didn’t have much experiences and credits on my resume; solely a burning desire to act and tell stories. I began auditioning for short films because I wanted to start working and practice my craft. From that moment, I fell in love with this intimate way of film-making and never stopped since. The variety of characters you get to play with time allows you to grow as an artist and human-being. I was also fortunate to build a strong community of creative artists and long-lasting friendships.
Explore a realm of Characters
Being more accessible and inclusive than big-budget projects, indie films are a great platform to explore various genres, characters and learn the ropes of film-making. Because most of these films are character-driven, you have the opportunity to build these characters from scratch and bring them alive. You learn a lot by studying the background of your character, creating it’s inner life and physical being. By using a layering process to build your characters, you will be easier to ground the story in truth.
More material to Showcase
In indie films, you often get to step outside of your type casting. You have an opportunity to show the filmmakers that you have something different to offer to the character. Since the majority of these films are low-budget, they have less to lose and therefore will take more creative risks. You can use this opportunity to build footage for your demo reel or renew your existing material. The more you have to showcase, the more chances you get to land that next audition or book that role. Since the industry is moving at a rapid pace, many roles are now booked based on your material; so better be ready than sorry!
Sharpen your craft
As a actor, you always want to stay sharp at your craft. Practice and consistency are key to evolve as an artist in this industry. Therefore, working in indie films allows you to keep your instrument ready for any upcoming opportunities. Work begets work! The confidence you nourish by working as an actor will attract more work and keep the wheel spinning.
Create your own opportunities
The indie film scene offers a great window to create your own work. We all have that dream role we want to play or that story we wish to tell. This is your opportunity to start your own projects to bring your vision alive. The process of writing may be challenging for some of you but that shouldn’t be a reason to avoid it. Being an actor in itself can be limiting if you solely depend on other people’ projects. Begin small and expand with time; it’s not a race or a competition. Creating your own projects will be very rewarding in the end, I promise!
Launch your Career
Last but not least, since the majority of indie films are entering the film festival circuit, you increases you chances to be seen. The projects you are part of could ultimately launch your career. On my side, I booked a lead role in a low-budget indie feature film titled SPICE IT UP a few years ago and when it was released, it entered film festivals all across Canada. A lot of articles were published about the film which eventually helped me in my career. You never know what will come from being part of indie films. Always commit yourself a 100% to the projects you land as this could define your career.