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How Collectives Help Indie Filmmakers Make Better Movies

Beasts of the Southern Wild, which nabbed Sundance's top 2012 prize and comes out June 27, is the product of a new trend in indie films—collectives, or groups of collaborating artists. Collectives champs explain.

Benh Zeitlin, Court 13

Notable Film: Beasts of the Southern Wild

How do collectives help filmmakers who lack funding?
A lot of people make the mistake of waiting to get money before doing something. The longer you wait to take action on a movie, the harder it gets. You need momentum. The way to make films without money is with a lot of help.

Sean Durkin, Borderline Films

Notable Film: Martha Marcy May Marlene

What are the creative benefits of collectives?
When you work alone, there are points in time when you're not actively writing or making anything. But we're always in production; it's so healthy for the creative cycle.

Nash Edgerton, Blue-Tongue Films

Notable Film: Animal Kingdom

How can collectives help build a brand?
There was a time when David [Michod], Spencer [Susser], and I all had short films at Sundance, and we'd each worked on the others' films. People knew we were collaborators, and it drove them to check out our other work.


A version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.