Top Reasons to Act in Indie Films

Written by: Charles Matthau

Actors exist in one of the most highly competitive professions of any market worldwide. Everyone thinks they can act, and all of those people are looking for the first opportunity to prove themselves right. As a result, a lot of actors willing to work for cheap get work with indie filmmakers.

This is negative and positive. Everyone needs a start and some of those actors are actually undiscovered gems. The flipside is that a lack of budget signals a risky film in the making, and anything risky tends to be scary.

In fact, actors should be more interested in working with indie filmmakers than big budget productions. Here are just a few reasons why that is.

Taking Chances

Indie Films are basically self-funded endeavors. You know that an indie filmmaker has raised funds as part of a passion project to make the film, and that those involved have seen the script or the pitch and believe in the idea. That’s at least worth giving the script a quick read through.

Character-Driven Films

Everyone wants to be center stage, and indie films offer you that chance. No matter where you are in the hierarchy, you can make smart films that utilize your greatest strengths as an actor. The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Murray and Daniel Day Lewis all understand the value that holds for someone passionate about acting.

Final Thoughts

Indie films aren’t films made for money, although it’s not impossible to monetize them. They are passion projects made on ideas people believe in. True actors understand the passion that goes into independent filmmaking.


Charlie Matthau directed “Her Minor Thing,” and the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp.” Other Charles Matthau Company productions include “Freaky Deaky” and the upcoming “Mexican High.” For information on Charles or Walter Matthau, visit the Charles Matthau Company.

How to Find a Composer for Your Film

Written by: Charles Matthau

Summary: Scoring the film adds body to it, so choose a good composer.

There are a few stand out composers in the filmmaking scene who most people think of when they think about movie scores. People like John Williams, Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer are the names that come to mind when one thinks of great movie scores, but every film has a soundtrack to it and those three names aren’t making everything. Finding a composer for your film isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Be Involved

Directors should want to get hands-on with nearly every aspect of the project. It’s important to know when to let people do their work, but do actively have ideas for what you want your film to sound like. Before you meet anyone, be prepared with sound clips that illustrate emotion. Particular songs work too. Any kind of point of reference that helps you better describe your film, its emotion and the underlying themes.

Listen to Music

Invest in mp3s, CDs, vinyl or however else you decide to store your music. Just buy something you can listen to and digest it. Be prepared to write to music, drive with a different album on. Make note of artists you like, especially indie artists. Jot down particular songs and compile a good sized track list.

Watch the Film

You won’t know how your track list meshes with your movie until you actually sit down and watch it. The tracks that speak to you should guide you to the composers you should call. Explain your situation, be honest, build rapport and set a budget. Those are the keys to finding a composer.


Bio: Charles Matthau prides himself on a passion for storytelling. The Charles Matthau Company produced and directed the adaptation of Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp.”