Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

EXCLUSIVE: Edward Burns Wants You to Choose His Movie's Poster and Song

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire April 13, 2011 at 5:35AM

Last year saw indie stalwart Edward Burns work with his lowest budget since "The Brothers McMullen" and try his luck at a radical distribution model for the romantic comedy "Nice Guy Johnny." This year, with his Tribeca Film Festival closing night film "Newlyweds," Burns goes guerilla and asks for some help from his fans.
0

Last year saw indie stalwart Edward Burns work with his lowest budget since "The Brothers McMullen" and try his luck at a radical distribution model for the romantic comedy "Nice Guy Johnny." This year, with his Tribeca Film Festival closing night film "Newlyweds," Burns goes guerilla and asks for some help from his fans.

With a shooting budget of $9,000, Burns latest venture marks his cheapest directorial outing to date. Working with a three-person crew, Burns had the actors wear their own clothes, do their own hair and makeup and shot without lights for the most part. He revealed all of this via Twitter to his followers.

In keeping with his new interactive approach, Burns held a contest for people to submit potential poster art for the film on his personal website. The top three have been selected by popular vote through a Facebook voting system. Voting for the winner starts today and ends at noon Eastern Time on Monday, April 18th. Check back on indieWIRE later that day for the results.

In addition, indieWIRE got exclusive word that Burns is reaching out to unknown musicians/bands to submit a song or two that will be used in two key scenes in the film. Burns is looking for a song with an acoustic, coffee-house sort of sound and another that has more of a dancey, indie-rock sound. To submit a track click here. The competition closes noon Eastern Time on April 20th. Winners will be announced April 22nd.

indieWIRE caught up with Burns to discuss the reasons behind his new approach.

Why make this latest project so interactive?

It wasn’t really my intention. Last year when we released “Nice Guy Johnny,” I started using Twitter a lot and enjoyed the interaction with the fans. I would pick their brains periodically about what they liked about the film, music that they liked etc. As I started thinking about what I would do next, I started to get questions, asking what I was doing next. So I started to toss out the different ideas I was contemplating. Once I started to narrow in on this screenplay I threw the plot out there and I got a slew of responses. A response inspired one of the storylines in the screenplay.

Once I did that I kept going back to them. I asked for character names. I asked them to help me to try and come up with one of the last lines in the film.

Have you always had such a close relationship with your followers, or were you caught off guard by the wealth of responses?

Living in New York, going out in bars and restaurants I had some interaction, but nothing like what you get on Facebook and Twitter.

With your last film “Nice Guy Johnny,” you worked with your lowest budget since your first feature, but this marks your lowest one yet. Why did you go even lower this time around?

Edward Burns' "Newlyweds."

We had such a good time not having to deal with any financiers and any kind of production people who would be connected to money. I knew on this film, I wanted to make it in the same style that we had made “Johnny.” The difference was we used a different camera this time – we used a Canon 5D, instead of the RED. It’s a smaller camera. We only used practical lights. Because the film is a pseudo doc we were able to go into locations in Tribeca. We said, “Look, you guys can stay open for business. We’re just going to go in the corner.” On a lot of days we didn’t even have a soundman. Nobody noticed us because we didn’t have a boom. We were able to shoot in these locations. Given the nature of the production, nobody charged us any fees.

Have you been surprised by the quality of the posters?

Kind of shocked. When I threw it out there I thought maybe I would get a handful of posters from a handful of art students. I never really thought that we would get the quality or as many as were submitted.

Do you see yourself going down this route in the future?

Depending on the film. I know I’ve been enjoying being able to communicate with the fans. It’s interesting because sometimes, you make a film you put it out there; like a lot of these smaller indie titles, they don’t get enough publicity. Even as a filmmaker, you feel, “God, did my film dissapear without a trace?” You discover through Twitter and Facebook that these films - they do have fans. It’s fun to check in with those fans and hear what they like about what you’re doing. So that’s been kind of fun, to engage with them.

I think moving forward, I’m enjoying the process of having them collaborate. So yeah, I think I’ll continue to do it.

What kind of distribution model are you envisioning for this film?

We did so well financially on “Nice Guy Johnny.” We’re big believers that for a certain size feature film, theatrical makes no sense. I get to enjoy the theatrical experience with these films by going to film festivals, screenings for film socities and touring to film schools. I get that experience. But from a financial standpoint it makes zero sense. We really have no interest in theatrical.

We do think there are a couple of tweaks we can make to the “Johnny” model.

What are those tweaks?

Just little slight adjustments. There’s no guarantte they could work. But I think there where areas where we missed an opportunity. The biggest missed one, was we thought it would be a good idea to go out the same time with all digital platforms and DVD. Now we’re better off holding off on DVD and releasing that later.


This article is related to: Features, Interviews, Newlyweds






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More