"Big Easy Express," the music documentary that follows a ten-day road trip with Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show, became available for download in 50 markets on iTunes today. Normally, this wouldn't be news. However, this launch, comes a full month before its other releases. Next month, the film will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD, which will be followed by a fall VOD/theatrical release.
The filmmakers say: "We always wanted to incorporate a global digital platform into our release strategy and to find a novel approach to bringing "Big Easy Express" to both new and traditional film audiences. We are delighted to be working with all of our partners in crafting an innovative distribution model."
We'll be sure to let you know whether this running-in-reverse distribution strategy works out for "Big Easy Express."
Full press release reprinted below:
World Premiere of Award-Winning New Film BIG EASY EXPRESS Available Exclusively on the iTunes Store Today
Music Documentary by Emmett Malloy Features Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show
New York/ London / Los Angeles (June 26th, 2012) – S2BN Films, the film division of S2BN Entertainment Corporation, and B.E.E. LLC announce Emmett Malloy's new film BIG EASY EXPRESS is available worldwide exclusively in 50 countries on the iTunes Store today(itunes.com/bigeasyexpress), more than a month ahead of any other release.Three months after Malloy's film won the "Headliner Audience Award" at the 2012 SXSW Film & Music Festival in Austin, BIG EASY EXPRESS is now available to purchase on the iTunes Store in high-definition for $12.99 or $9.99 for standard-definition.
The documentary directed by Emmett Malloy (The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights) celebrates the bond created among three of the independent music scene's brightest lights – Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show – as they travel aboard a vintage train for an eight-day journey through the vibrant landscape of the American Southwest, making six stops to perform for jubilant crowds from Oakland to New Orleans, on what they called the Railroad Revival Tour in April 2011.
"We are thrilled to bring this musically charged documentary film to the world on the iTunes Store," says Karol Martesko-Fenster, President of S2BN Films. "The iTunes Store is a distribution vehicle that allows us to bring BIG EASY EXPRESS to 50 countries on the same day. The film will be presented in pristine quality with great viewing options for movie and music fans alike."
S2BN Films and the three bands worked closely together on the pre-release campaign that rolled out at SXSW with a sold-out afternoon worldwide festival premiere at the Paramount Theater and late-night screening and open-air concert on the LBJ Lawn of Austin University for 8,000 people. The film recently screened as the opening night film of the Maui Film Festival, as a special presentation at the XPN Music Film Festival, Hot Docs and LA Film Festival, and as the closing night film of the Nashville Film Festival and AFI/Silverdocs Film Festival.
In a joint statement from S2BN Entertainment Chairman and Executive Producer Michael Cohl,director Emmett Malloy, and producers Tim Lynch, Bryan Ling, and Mike Luba, the filmmakers said: "We always wanted to incorporate a global digital platform into our release strategy and to find a novel approach to bringing BIG EASY EXPRESS to both new and traditional film audiences. We are delighted to be working with all of our partners in crafting an innovative distribution model."
July will kick off a multi-platform, multi-territory direct release of the film that includes the global Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release on July 24 via Alliance Entertainment, followed by a subscription video on demand and theatrical run later this year. S2BN's Karol Martesko-Fenster and Ben Weiss of Paradigm worked closely to arrange the deals on behalf of the film and B.E.E. LLC.
Ben Weiss of Paradigm said of the partnership: "We are thrilled to be working with S2BN Films on this revolutionary rollout of BIG EASY EXPRESS. It highlights the true potential of the digital direct release and reaffirms our mission to be exploring all distribution models available to content owners. And the timing couldn't be better. Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show will release new albums in 2012, while Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros' latest album Here was released on May 29 and has quickly become one of the best-selling albums on the iTunes Store."
"Being on an vintage train, riding the rails through the heart of America took us all back in time a bit. It was easy to get lost and imagine that we were just there for the fun of it all – rolling along with your friends and playing music because you loved it. Our cameras were there to participate in the journey and never get in the way of the moving train." Emmett Malloy, Director
"It was about the joy of music and the joy of camaraderie. We're each quite different bands. We come from different places – England, Los Angeles, Nashville – but we all came together and played our hearts out. It was really amazing." Gill Landry, Old Crow Medicine Show
"It was a romantic idea from the start. The journey became something that we could never have planned." Marcus Mumford, Mumford & Sons
"BIG EASY EXPRESS tells its story through wall-to-wall music and the lyrical beauty of the passing landscape, enabling the audience to see the country the way people saw it more than 100 years ago." Alex Ebert, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros