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Louis C.K. Plans To Make Feature Film With Revenue From Self-Distributed Stand-Up Special

Written by on December 12, 2011 

If you’ve been following Louis C.K. the last few years you’ve witnessed the comedian explode. His TV series on FX and stand-up are a fine-tuned mix of comedy and drama, with one complimenting and feeding the other. This past weekend, “against well-informed advice,” he self-distributed his new stand-up special, Live at the Beacon Theater for just $5. You can stream and/or download the HD version of the hilarious one-hour long piece on his official site, but there may be more in store if this succeeds.

Participating in a Reddit AmA (ask me anything), which, for those not familiar, is a user-generated Q&A. He was asked about Pootie Tang, a comedy he wrote and directed and which he didn’t have control over the final product, which was poorly received. That didn’t get him down though as he explained if this business model succeeds, he has plans to make another feature film with total control. Thanks to /Film for highlighting this portion and you can read his answer below.

I have a dream, though. You want to hear it? Yeah? Well, okay.

I thought about what if I make another special like this one and i put it up for 5 bucks again and it goes gangbusters. It makes, say, 8 million bucks. I don’t know that that is even possible. I’m trying to find out what the potential is with this one. But so if I make 8 million, which all goes through paypal right into Pig Newton, my company that makes my show and made the special. Well I would leave the money in there and make a fucking movie.

This special, if it explosed, cause really it’s only been up for 2 days, more like a pre-sale. If it really tears an asshole into the money monster who then shits dollars into my mouth (oh my god what’s wrong with me) then I will use that money to buy a home and get some security which i NEVER have had in my life and have certainly not gotten from my low budget show.

So it would have to be special number 2 that would keep the money in the company and make a movie. I have always put cash back into the work. The profit I made on last years season of louie went to buying a new RED EPIC camera which now sits here next to me and a modest but impressive collection of lenses from germany and england, which now belong to Pig Newton and will be used to shoot said 8 million dollar movie.

I wrote way too much here that I should keep to myself but fuck it i’m pressing send.

It is refreshing to hear an artist find success in other methods of distribution and I have no doubt that Louis C.K. will gain the traction he needs with this model. I’ve personally bought the stand-up and encourage you to head over to his site and do the same. If a small payment not only means you’re getting a brand-new special, but also the possibility of an entire feature film, it seems like a small price to pay.

What do you think about an artist using self-distribution methods to finance a bigger project? Is it a possibility for Louis C.K.?

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