High School Intern Edition: “Indie”


High School Intern Edition features a group of students from the Field School in Washington, DC, that interned with us for two weeks in January.

The first day I started interning at 2020 Productions- I had only a vague notion of what an “Indie Film” was. In fact, I really only had a minimal idea of what “Indie” was at all. That said,( yes I will admit it), to better understand this genre I did both Google and use Wikipedia, (a link for which is included above).

And, I decided that for everyone who might be new to the show, new to web series, and new to the “Indie” genre- I thought it would be valuable to start a discussion.

According to Wikipedia: an indie film is a film that is produced outside of a major film studio; these films are often distinguished by content and style, particular to the artistic message or theory the artist is trying to convey. Further, the marketing of these films is generally characterized by a limited release designed to build word of mouth or to reach small specialty audiences.

However, the longer I’m here the more I’ve realized how bare bones of an assessment that definition is. And that according to these characteristics- “Orange Juice in Bishops Garden”- viewed in 136 countries and now viral- must be doing something right.

And for those of you unfamiliar with the term “viral” it means that these video have spread not by paid publicity or promotion, but by having independent websites pick them up and air them. As of late, episodes of “Orange Juice in Bishops Garden” (particularly those dealing with the Gwen and Sarah’s new relationship) have been picked up and promoted by One More Lesbian, and Shewired.

And anything that promotes female empowerment, self esteem, and acceptance- well, we’re all for it. But in reality, we at 2020 have to ask what is it that demonstrates we’re dealing with material that is worthy of such laud? Because our whole objective is merely to provide truth, mirror life, and create a banging product.

But isn’t that what everyone is aspiring to do?

At least we would think so. Then again, maybe that’s just what inspires people to watch OJBG- this pursuit.

From a conservative perspective there wouldn’t be a hook to naturally draw me into the “Indie” culture, my palate was simply not refined enough. However, there is a hook for me here. The realness of the series, free from iron fist of a bullying studio, draws you in. There is no show of “reality tv” or people trying to portray real life- it simply is real life.

So, where the term “Indie” had once caused my mind to drift towards images of Birkenstocks, moderate facial hair, and hemp- I’m instead interpreting the word to mean something more, something real, something pulsating.

So, for those of you curiously clicking through the OJBG website trying to discover the “hype” that has begun to surround the series: stop clicking and watch. After an episode or two, you may just begin to label yourself as someone who is into “Indie.”

Image via punkgoesindie.com

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