Thursday, September 29, 2011

1629 - Nice Guy Johnny

It's hard to talk about this film without talking about the approach that Edward Burns took to making it.  However I'll separate them as best I can.  Hell, I'll even use titles to do so!

The Film
Okay.  So I really quite enjoyed this.  For a guy who just made his first feature on the cheap, I was pretty impressed by just how cheap this was made, and yet it didn't feel like they were skimping and saving.  Burns has truly utilized all he could to put this together without it feeling like a shoestring budget.  It's a genuinely sweet coming-of-age film, the characters are interesting, the actors well cast.  It's just a really solid little film - and it's brand spanking new and already on Netflix! 

The Process
So this film was made for $25K.  For those that don't know - this is not an easy thing to do.  It makes me jealous as shit.  It makes me just want to take one of my cheap scripts and grab some people and just make a damn film.  It's inspiring in that way - but that way also leads to danger.  A film like this can work because Edward Burns has a name for himself already.  He can make a film this cheap and insure that people will see it because he himself is a name, especially in the indie world.  It's easy for Burns to say that more people should be doing what he's doing, because for him it can't be that hard.  He doesn't need to make money on his own films because his acting roles pay the bills (I assume).
All that being said, good on him.  I'd like to think that down the road I'll get to a point where I can just make whatever film I want to and that'll be it - there's something freeing in that. 
However, my advice to young filmmakers, realize that this process works for Burns because is Edward Burns, people know him as an actor, he has made multi-million dollar films as a director as well.  He is able to make a film at this price and get it out into the world because he, himself, is a commodity.  If you want to take your own hard earned money and make a film out of it, please just do me a favor and treat it the same as gambling - only play with what you're willing to lose.

No comments: