Independent film means that it is NOT depending (in-dependent of) on a major studio. that’s all it means. no obligations, no contractual risks, no deadlines… it has nothing to do with money (of course an independent film is harder to finance, since no big studio is providing the money).
widescreen and full screen is a difficult thing to answer.
- imagine a sheet of paper which is wider than it is high, lets say 2.35 foot wide and 1 foot high (a large piece of paper, maybe a canvas). then you paint something on it.
- now you have to do a rectangular conversion of it, making it about same hight as width, that means you have to crop something from each side, so u actually loose pieces of your painting
- you could also make a new painting on a 1 by 1 canvas, painting the same thing as before, but condensed, or arranged differently.
now we switch to the real world.
- a director shoots a picture in a widescreen format (cinemascope is 2.35:1 aspect ratio, some orthers are 1.85:1). there’s a man talking to a woman, you see both from the side
- now he has to make a full screen (4:3 or to be exact: 1.33:1) version for TV, he either just crops the sides, so you only see two noses talking to each other or…
- you first pan to one person, then to the other (called “pan and scan”) that way its the same conversation, but you only see the person who speaks. most times the movie gets longer with this technique.
exception: the film is shot “open-matte” that means full screen and the widescreen shot is actually “cut out of it” (i.e. "matted), that means it is cropped at the top and bottom (example: Jackie Brown)