Brendon Burns joins the DIY brigade

Releasing DVD himself as a download

Brendon Burns is to become the first major UK-based comic to release his stand-up show as a direct download, using the business model pioneered by Louis CK.

His show, Y' Know– Love 'n' God 'n' Metaphysics 'n' Shit (A Song For Bean) is out today, priced just £4, and says that bypassing the major labels gave him a creative freedom he hasn’t previously enjoyed.

Louis CK took charge of every aspect of his $5 download Live At The Beacon – which netted its first $1million in just 12 days – but Burns has teamed up with the traditional, if relatively small, DVD label Pias to distribute his special.

He said: I’m thrilled to be releasing this in this way. I was hands-on with every part of the process and unlike my other DVDs I haven’t had to censor a thing.

‘It was shot the way I wanted it and I don’t have to try and shop it out to TV. I can gain access to an audience my way.’

Burns’s Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning show So I Suppose THIS Is Offensive Now was released in 2008 in the traditional way, via studio giant Universal, and subsequently screened on Comedy Central.

In a Chortle Correspondence piece explaining his decision, Burns wrote: ‘There’s a lot of griping going on right now that comedy’s becoming to mainstream. But the honest truth is there’s never been a better time to be a niche guy. You just have to be willing to do the work yourself.

With Pias, we realised we can do the whole thing ourselves and the trust they’ve given me in producing this just the way I wanted it has been staggering.

‘It also came to my attention that way more people were downloading my stuff illegally than were downloading those guys that are shifting millions of units. So as with the Louis CK model I’m just going to trust that people understand that I’m an independent guy. And that maybe my trust in people’s better nature and desire to find something different is worth £4.’

Burns said that in part his decision to release the DVD this was driven by the fact he doesn’t come off too well on TV, so is ill-suited to the traditional mainstream path of panel shows, Live At The Apollo type showcases, then DVD release.

The Australian admitted than on TV, ‘I tend to get over excited, adrenaline kicks in and I rush and yell and come off sounding a bit oafish’ – and that the medium suits snappy one-line merchants more than his more thoughtful style.

‘It takes a while to get into me and the way my brain works,’ he said. ‘Plus I have quite an annoying voice and some folks just can’t get past such audible cosmetics.’

He added: ‘Now I don’t need TV. In fact I don’t really need the industry for anything. Nor does anyone.’

  • Brendon Burns: Y' Know – Love 'n' God 'n' Metaphysics 'n' Shit (A song for Bean) is available to download here.

Published: 23 Jul 2012

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