Friday, January 20, 2012

Ed Burns on Newlyweds

Filmmaker Ed Burns was on the appallingly bad* "Piers Morgan Tonight" last week talking up his $9,000 film project; Newlyweds. Any indie filmmaker should pay close attention to how Burns has been using social media and other unique ways to finance and promote his movies the last couple of years.

I found it particularly interesting that the budget for the $9,000 movie - after post work and other undefined things - was more like $125,000. Not a lot by big movie standards, but much more than $9,000!

Burns: I go to film schools all the time and talk to the kids and what's exciting is the playing field has been leveled. Now these kids can get in and they can make a great looking film, and that point of entry is so low. There isn't the economic hurdle anymore.

Burns: The thing that's amazing is, using social media now to publicize the film and we've done this thing where theatrical doesn't make financial sense for indie films, for the most part, so we did a digital distribution where it goes out on video-on-demand and certain companies like Comcast and Time Warner have done a great job recognizing that the indie audience doesn't go to the theater like they used to. They're sitting home at their couch; and iTunes is another major component. In seven days of release we have already made the budget back, times, I don't know, five or six, and not the nine thousand dollar budget, the budget all-in after post-production, is about $125,000.

Morgan:You've already made, what? half a million?

Burns: Ahhh....just, I'd say, a little shy of that. 
...and we did not expect to do this, we did a moive last year called Nice Guy Johnny, that did nowhere near that, I mean it did very well, but this has surprised everybody.

* Morgan seemed more interested in Burns' wife than the movie.

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