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Why There’s a Crowd Behind the Camera

by Michelle Kung.

The word ‘collective’ may evoke 1970s hippie counterculture, but in the independent-film community, it’s helping to get movies made.

A new generation of filmmakers in their 20s and 30s are forming affiliated groups—with names like Court 13, Blue-Tongue Films and Borderline Films—to produce modestly

Instead of focusing on their own projects exclusively, filmmakers join together and pitch in to help their colleagues. At least four collective-produced films were bought out of the Sundance Film Festival last month, including the award-winning “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Filmmakers have long worked collaboratively. In 1919, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and others formed United Artists so they could produce and distribute their own films. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, social causes drove the Amber Film and Berwick Street Film Collectives. A focus on bare-bones, special-effects-free storytelling was at the core of the Dogme 95 group, with director Lars von Trier, in the late 1990s and 2000s. But today’s film collective are spawned by economic pressures.

Read the rest of this article from WSJ.

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