Joel and Ethan Coen have revealed the unique way they raised funds to make their feature film debut ‘Blood Simple’.
Talking in a new featurette for the re-release of ‘Blood Simple: Director’s Cut’ (out now on DVD and Blu-ray) the filmmaking siblings say they followed in Sam Raimi’s footsteps to raise capital for their low budget debut which was first released in 1984.
“It was financed in a similar way to a lot of independent, exploitation – mostly horror films – were at the time,” explains Joel Coen.
Raimi, the Coen Brothers’ contemporary, had raised money for his debut ‘The Evil Dead’ by begging for money from local neighbours and businesses, in return for a share of the profits.
“[We formed] a limited partnership and approached investors,” adds Joel.
He says they would speak to “individual investors who would contribute a small amount of money for a small amount of equity in the movie, and an interest in the eventual profits… we hoped.”
The Coens say it took a year to raise the necessary funds of $1.5m to make the film that they also wrote, assembling around 60 investors. To help their cause the brothers made a short trailer for their noir thriller, which they “schlepped” from door-to-door, showing it to potential investors “in people’s living rooms on 16mm”.
“It was enough to get your foot in the door,” adds Joel.
‘Blood Simple: Director’s Cut’ is available on DVD and Blu-ray now. Watch a trailer for the restoration below.