Unlike the films made within the studio system, these new low-budget films could afford to take risks and explore new artistic territory outside of the classical Hollywood narrative. Maya Deren was soon joined in New York by a crowd of like minded avant-garde filmmakers who were interested in creating films as works of art rather than entertainment. Based upon a common belief that the "official cinema" was "running out of breath" and had become "morally corrupt, aesthetically obsolete, thematically superficial, [and] temperamentally boring",  this new crop of independents formed The Film-Makers' Cooperative , an artist-run, non-profit organization which they would use to distribute their films through a centralized archive. Founded in 1962 by Jonas Mekas , Stan Brakhage , Shirley Clarke , Gregory Markopoulos , and others, the Cooperative provided an important outlet for many of cinema's creative luminaries in the 1960s, including Jack Smith and Andy Warhol . When he returned to America, Ken Anger would debut many of his most important works there. Mekas and Brakhage would go on to found the Anthology Film Archives in 1970, which would likewise prove essential to the development and preservation of independent films, even to this day.
From the very beginning, the monopolistic MPPC was fought by the unlicensed independents (dubbed "pirates" or "outlaws"), led by IMP's founder Carl Laemmle (see below), a Jewish immigrant from Germany. Others who fought the MPPC included Harry E. Aitken ( Majestic Films ), William Fox (founder of the Fox Film Corporation ), and Adolph Zukor ( Famous Players , the precursor to Paramount ). The flexible, stealthy, and adventurous independents avoided coercive MPPC restrictions (the requirement to use only Trust film stock and projectors, for example) by using unlicensed equipment, obtaining their own film materials, and making films on the sly. Soon, they moved to California and opened up a rival film-making industry, where they could be comparatively safe, and there was abundant sunshine for film-making.