Louis CK Shows How to Self-Distribute a Video, Brings in $1 Million Online
Among the many news stories that I missed recently, comedian Louis CK's self-released Live at the Beacon Theater video might be the story that I feel the most remiss about missing. Louis is not only one of the funniest men alive, he's also a writer/director/producer/editor (you may know his show on FX, which he not only writes and stars in, but also edited the entire second season himself). Louis recently shared some of his thoughts on the hot button topic of Final Cut Pro (X) (included below), but the larger story is that his self-produced, self-distributed downloadable video has raised over $1 million, and he's been completely transparent about where that money is going (much of which is to charity). Here's a sample of the routine, which includes NSFW language/subject matter:
If you want to see what $1 million dollars in a Paypal account looks like, here it is:
$5 of that is mine! Well, slightly less, really, given Paypal takes a cut.
On a terrific Reddit thread, Louis took to answering questions -- many hilariously -- and had this to say about editing:
I love editing. I have used Avid in the past but I exclusively use Final Cut Pro now, though I am concerned about the future... You always have to put three dots after the future... Editing is part of the process. It's how you form everything. In some ways not editing yourself would be like a sculptor dropping some clay off at a guys house and saying "Make a naked lady chasing a bull. and do it nice".
Taking the distribution and transparency one step further, on his news page Louis shares where the money is going:
The first 250k is going to pay back what the special cost to produce and the website to build.
The second 250k is going back to my staff and the people who work for me on the special and on my show. I'm giving them a big fat bonus.
The third 280k is going to a few different charities. They are listed below in case you'd like to donate to them also. Some of these i learned about through friends, some were reccomended through twitter.
That leaves me with 220k for myself. Some of that will pay my rent and will care for my childen. The rest I will do terrible, horrible things with and none of that is any of your business. In any case, to me, 220k is enough out of a million.
Louis' transparency, hilarity, and humanity makes the release even more of a special event in which to participate -- it's great marketing and it makes you want to buy the video even if you're not a Louis CK fan or a stand-up fan. Get the $5 download at the link below -- or don't, if you're easily offended by "adult" topics. Just a warning!