Edward Burns Isn't the Next Woody Allen, But He Matters All the Same

Edward Burns’s tenure as Long Island’s version of Woody Allen didn’t last long.

Burns’ 1995 film “The Brothers McMullen” suggested a new, exciting voice had entered Hollywood. But Burns couldn’t replicate the sly charms of his film debut, and his tenure as a writer/director seemed over. He wasn’t exposed as painfully as fellow auteur M. Night Shyamalan, but it was clear Burns didn’t fit into the Hollywood mold.

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The handsome triple threat – he acts, too – could have retreated, licked his wounds and found a new career path. Instead, he turned to new media to keep his directorial options alive.

His latest film, “Newlyweds,” hit the Video on Demand market Dec. 26 and cost a measly $9,000 to make. That means covering his costs should be practical even if the film lacks A-list talent. And he’ll grab a bigger share of the profits should “Newlyweds” become a modest hit.

Burns explained why he doesn’t mind working with microscopic budgets during an interview featured on Comcast digital stations.

“I choose to make low-budget films because I don’t want to get notes from the studio or the financier,” he says.

For better or worse, “Newlyweds” is all his. Burns is no Allen, but he’s already thinking a few paces ahead of many peers, witness his recent op-ed at thedailybeast.com.

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….

I truly believe digital distribution is the future of independent film. It’s the absolute most effective way to attract millions of eyeballs to your film–the film that you’ve been dying to make.


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