True Independent Film – The Iconographer Goes
Remember when Indie Meant Indie?
Remember the first days of independent film? Those were the days of “Eraserhead” and “Mala Noche” and “Crumb” and “Pi” and “El Mariachi” and “Clerks” and even “Roger and Me.” Remember how exciting it was to watch the dominant mode of production of our time, film making, be put into the hands of a regular person who Séries Netflix might live next to you? Or might even be you?
Remember when ten grand, maybe twenty if you cleaned out your bank account and maxed out your credit cards and asked all your friends and neighbors and relatives and even people you barely knew but bought drinks for? And it was worth it?
Portland independent filmmaker Andy Mingo wants you to know two things about independent film: first, it’s alive and well in Portland, Oregon, and second, there is a difference between the history of independent film, the present corporate takeover of indie film, and what he is calling True Independent Film.
Andy Mingo is the director of The Iconographer, a new independent feature film currently under consideration on the festival circuits this year. Written, directed, and edited by Mingo, The Iconographer was made on a budget of less than 20 grand with local actors who worked for cheese and wine and lasagna that his wife baked.
Mingo shot the entire film at locations around Portland, Oregon ranging from a local liquor store, to a beach on the Sandy river, to warehouses, the insides of cars, and strip clubs. Cameras came from equipment grants and loaners from the Northwest Film Center. Actors knew each other from local productions and jobs and bars and the passion of doing something because you just can’t not. The music came from people Mingo had known for years. The sound guy had a day job. Pretty much everyone did.
The story of The Iconographer has one foot in the history of independent film and one foot in the territory Mingo is calling True Independent Film. According to New York Times bestselling author Chelsea Cain, “The Iconographer is personal, funny and incredibly smart, a little story with big waves that resonates on many levels, from its pitch perfect portrayal of family dynamics, to its socio-political allegory… And there’s enough fake blood to keep things interesting.”
True Independent film, according to Andy Mingo, still works from the ground up, and brings into focus the small and human story. In addition to “The Iconographer,” Andy Mingo has written, directed and produced six short films, which have appeared in various national festivals and screenings including the Longbaugh Film Festival, the Northwest Film and Video Festival, the PDX Film Festival, and Northwest Tracking- Journal of Short Film V.11. Mingo is a Professor of Media Studies at Clackamas Community College as well as the author of the novel, East of Elko. He also runs Chiasmus Press, one of Portland’s award winning independent literary press. And he’s on a mission to advocate for True Independent Film.
Independent film used to exist. Alas, in 2009 “Independent Film” has