Ed Burns makes “Newlyweds” for $9,000 with a Canon 5D
[Author’s Note: The quotes on this page are copied from two other articles on two different websites, both of with are accredited and the full articles can be read by clicking on the places marked.]
How long have I been saying to aspiring & first-time independent filmmakers that theatrical distribution is not only dead, it is nonexistent?
Filmmaker Ed Burns became one of the Sundance stars and indie filmmaker poster childred with his $20,000 16mm feature The Brothers McMullen — a great film with some of the best performances I’ve scene in films. The DVD has one of the best audio commentary tracks with advice for filmmakers embarking on making a film with virtually no money.
The Brothers McMullen was picked up for distribution and went on to earn $10 million, inspiring aspiring filmmakers — or aspiring millionaires — to grab cameras and start making their own low-budget indies. And none of the others made it.
Burns also went on to a career in acting, Saving Private Ryan among his filmography.
A few years back he became the first filmmaker to release a film directly to iTunes with Purple Violets.
He now has a new film called Newlyweds that is not going out to theaters, except for a few select film festivals like Tribeca. His film is being released directly to you in your homes via Video-On-Demand (VOD) and iTunes. He understands the cost of going to the theater as well as the cost of trying to get into a theater and how much money gets chopped up before any of it — if there is anything — every coming back to the filmmakers in the way of pennies.
Ed Burns writes:
“With a simple click of the remote or mouse, movie fans could watch the film anywhere they wanted. I was able to make the film on a small budget all while having complete creative control. Of equal importance, I wasn’t giving a chunk of my profits away to a studio; my team and I were the ones to reap the financial rewards.
“As all indie film distribution companies will attest, the economics of a theatrical release for smaller budgeted films just don’t really make sense. And many of these companies have gone out of business clinging to this old model. The few specialty distribution companies that are left are exploring different models, with a greater emphasis on VOD and shorter windows between theatrical release and digital release. These companies even regard the theatrical release as a loss leader, a way to market the film for its more significant ancillary revenue to follow.”
— For the rest of Ed Burns’ article in The Daily Beast please click here.
“This film was made for $9,000 dollars… No seriously, he made the film for $9,000; $5,000 for the actors, $2,000 for the insurance, and $2,000 for the catering. What Ed Burns forgets to tell excited young filmmakers who think they can follow in his shoes, is that he also owns the cameras and the editing software, lights, c-stands, and the rest of the equipment you need to make a films. Still, $9,000 is $9,000. In today’s world of film, that’s unheard of. Bravo, Ed Burns.”
— Alex Tucker. For the full article and scenes from the movie please go to Around The Networks with Alex Tucker
For more information about Newlyweds and Ed Burns’ other films, and to purchase a DVD of Newlyweds, click here.