As with so many successful screenwriters, John August's work might be more familiar to you than his name. He wrote Go, Charlie's Angels, and a trio of Tim Burton films -- Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Corpse Bride -- before making the mind-bending indie flick The Nines (pictured). He directed it, too (his first feature in that capacity), so he had even more personal attachment to it when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007.

A few days ago, August posted an entry on his blog in which he dissects his experience with The Nines and uses it to shine some light on the nerve-racking, dog-eat-dog world of independent filmmaking. Clearly this business is not for the faint of heart. He lists what he calls "the Graduating Class of 2007," 21 buzz-generating films from Sundance that year, including his own. All but one were bought by distributors ... and almost all of them totally tanked at the box office.

That's not very encouraging, especially considering these were the cream of the Sundance crop. Only five on his list made more than $1 million in theaters, and many didn't even crack $100,000. The Nines (which was pretty decent, by the way, definitely worth checking out) got a cursory theatrical release in a couple cities, where it made a paltry $63,165, then eventually found its way to DVD.