“Last Indie Standing: The Special Case of Lions Gate in the New Millennium.” Both Schamus and Perren define vertical integration with respect to independent cinema and in support of the thesis that the primary purpose of vertical integration is not to gain greater artistic control, but to ensure continued growth of revenues, although Schamus adapts a pessimistic tone by showing that vertical integration is an impossible feat for indie films by explaining the processes, money, and people involved in producing, marketing, and distributing independent films, while Perren uses a more positive tone in discussing the vertical integration success of Lions Gate by adapting to changing and numerous content demands and characteristics of niche markets.
The economics of film business affects independent cinema, according to both Schamus and Perren, which affect their definitions of vertical integration. Schamus defines vertical integration in the context of independent cinema, which is still embedded in the mainstream film industry, where money-making goals remain supreme. On the one hand, indie films are supposed to be no-budget and focus on artistic, sometimes even social and political goals. On the other hand, Schamus keeps it real by underscoring that indie films are also subjected to the “poetics of late capitalism” (91). He integrates the definition of vertical integration by explaining the details of the capitalist system that drives the film industry. Like Schamus, Perren also explores the meaning of vertical integration for independent studios through their rise in the film industry. She examines how indie film studios survived the twenty-first century, when many other studios have become bankrupt or have been acquired by other larger or equally large competitors by mentioning several examples of studio success and failures. The impact of her examples is to show that not all indie studios benefit from vertical integration, and some were even financially ...
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