By Ray Pride



LOS ANGELES, CA (May 17, 2013) – It was announced today that independent film producers Cassian Elwes and Robert Ogden Barnum have launched e2b Capital, a new entertainment company for independent filmmakers and financiers seeking financing and global distribution expertise.

Elwes and Barnum will serve as co-heads of the Los Angeles-based operation.  Backed by a growing group of financiers, e2b will arrange financing for commercially viable, fiscally responsible independent films.  Working collaboratively with producers, talent agencies and foreign sales companies, e2b offers equity, gap and debt solutions through strategic partnerships, in addition to bringing strong relationships in the global marketplace.  e2b expects to work on 10-12 films annually.

“Last year was unbelievably productive and looking back I could not have done it without Rob.  He is a perfect partner for me because, apart from making our own films, we love working on other people’s films, as well as finding solutions in impossible situations. I feel privileged to work with him, he’s a driven entrepreneur with a proven track record over the past few years,” said Elwes.

“It’s become a more unified, global marketplace for filmmakers and financiers.  We believe we can help connect great material with the right sales companies and investors to meet everyone’s needs.” said Barnum.
e2b marks the logical next step in a collaboration between Barnum and Elwes that commenced with their success on MARGIN CALL, the Academy-Award nominated first feature from filmmaker JC Chandor.  Barnum produced and Elwes executive produced, and brokered the domestic distribution deal for MARGIN CALL, which is considered by industry experts to be the first financially successful day-and-date release campaign that helped trail blaze the platform for independents.

Elwes and Barnum worked with WME to help package and finance David Lowery’s critically acclaimed AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS, starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, which premiered at Sundance this year and will screen as part of the International Critics’ Week screening lineup at the Festival dé Cannes.

Elwes and Barnum are also executive producers on JC Chandor’s new film ALL IS LOST starring Robert Redford, which is making its World Premiere at the festival.

The partners have worked together on numerous projects including the critically-acclaimed LAWLESS, directed by John Hillcoat; and more recent productions A CASE OF YOU, directed by Kat Coiro and starring Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, and Peter Dinklage; and HATESHIP, LOVESHIP from director Liza Johnson and starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld and Nick Nolte .

e2b is currently working on PARIAH helmer Dee Rees’ upcoming project B.O.L.O.  Additional titles are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Elwes is considered an expert in the field of arranging financing and distribution for independent films having done so for 283 films during his tenure at William Morris Independent.  Recently, Elwes produced Lee Daniel’s THE PAPERBOY, which was at Cannes last year, as well as Daniels’ follow up, the highly anticipated THE BUTLER which TWC will release August 16th.  Additionally, Elwes is in post on the DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, which he recently sold in conjunction with CAA to Focus Features.

Elwes currently has a relationship with Evolution Independent where he will continue to consult on the company’s independent productions.

An award-winning independent film producer, over the last seven years, Barnum has also served as an executive, overseeing operations and strategy of both Benaroya Pictures and Annapurna Pictures, both major independent film financiers. Previously, Barnum was a founder and CEO of Anywhere Road, a boutique distribution company that employed day and date theatrical distribution models, releasing such acclaimed films as the Sundance hit A VERY BRITISH GANGSTER, Fernando Meirelles’ ANTONIA, BLACK IRISH and THE OH IN OHIO.

Barnum also recently served as executive producer on David Burris’ The World Made Straight and produced Ryan Phillippe’s directorial debut, SHREVEPORT.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon