YouTuber “The King” highlights the most influential indie movie directors who changed the industry through online videos that engage his audience.
Saving Mr Banks
Mr Banks is the rarest of creatures: a great film director who doesn’t want to be defined by the fame of a famous person (or movie star). Banks started his career in the 1950s, and directed episodes of classic TV shows like “The Twilight Zone,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”.
In 1974, his career was brought to the big screen with a part in The Six Faces of Dr. Jekyll. Since then, he has alternated directing feature films with working on TV shows like “M*A*S*H” and “Punky Brewster.”
Banks’ biggest break came when he was hired to direct the 2006 film adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The King’s Speech. Starring Tottenham Hotspur FB Geoff Hutchinson, the film tells the true story of King George VI of Great Britain, whose speeches were among the most famous in history. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. After completing The King’s Speech, Banks announced that he would not be directing another feature film.
The Artist and the Director
Another YouTube creator who has made a name for himself with witty parodies is “The Artist” (real name Roman Kapustin). His videos often feature famous film directors, comedians, and actors in silly or surreal situations. The trailer for The Artist is filled with cameos from famous people, and the final product is not your typical Hollywood movie.
The trailer for The Artist was such a success that it was decided by Studio Gaumont that Kapustin should make a movie entirely inspired by the trailer. Luckily for us, he delivered, with the quirky and fun The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The comedy-adventure stars Sean Perez (Hotel Transylvania, Living With Your Parents Forever) as Walter Mitty, an ordinary man who finds his ordinary life disrupted by a series of extraordinary adventures. Walter impulsively volunteers for a photo sniper course, which places him in the middle of one of the most extraordinary adventures of his life. The film was an unexpected critical and commercial hit, earning $350 million worldwide (estimated). It also won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (for Ben Whishaw).
Lars and the Real Mastodon
While The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is filled with Hollywood stars and colorful characters, it is actually set in a Mastodon (real name Lars) fan community in Stockholm, Sweden. After the release of The Mastodon (originally titled Lars), director Alexander Holm decided to make a documentary about the mythical creature, and how his Mastodon fans lived their lives. The movie is filled with interviews with Mastodon fans, and also features cameos by actor Bill Murray, singer Kelly Brock, and rapper Lil Nas X. Lionsgate decided to release the film in America, where it was retitled The Real Mastodon, and it’s the fastest grossing English-language film of all time, earning over $110 million in North America alone.
Mullets are Back
What do you get when you combine the witticisms of Zach Braff with the razor-sharp visuals of Ryan Gosling? You get one of the most successful films of recent years, The Toy Store. The film is filled with funny and memorable moments, and is definitely one of the best Gosling movies. So how did Ryan Gosling end up helming such a beloved and memorable film?
Gosling started his career in the Hollywood universes, appearing in numerous Hollywood blockbusters (most notably Blade Runner 2049). But he decided to focus on directing, and eventually made the leap to independent productions with 2011’s Blue Jacket. While Blue Jacket was not a commercial success, it did win the Best European Independent Film at the 2012 Independent Film Festival of Sydney. He followed up with 2014’s breakout hit The Good Weekend, which was met with critical acclaim. Since then, he has directed multiple projects including Magic Mike, The Hangover Part II (also starring Zach Braff), and Girl Who Captured The Eye of The Titan. Most recently, he directed the music video for TwentyOne’s “High School.”
Gosling has made a name for himself as a director who is able to make even the most mundane activity seem fresh and exciting. If Walt Disney were to make a comedy-adventure film, it would definitely be Ryan Gosling’s name on the call sheet.
The list of influential indie movie directors who have used their platforms to change the industry is endless. These guys are Hollywood heroes – they changed the game, and remade Hollywood as we know it. It’s been an exciting ride – tell us about your favorite Indie movie director in the comment section below!