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OpinionsHow Crowd-funding concept is sweeping Hollywood film industry

How Crowd-funding concept is sweeping Hollywood film industry


By Arun Kumar Shrivastav

In a visionary move that reshapes the traditional Hollywood financing landscape, Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison materialized their brainchild, Legion M, not merely as a production studio but as a thriving community. Breaking away from the conventional model, Legion M is part of a Hollywood transformation that embraces crowdfunding, allowing film and television producers to seek donations while providing investors with substantial returns beyond exclusive merchandise, CNBC reported recently.

Renowned for producing hits like Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Colossal, and the much-anticipated William Shatner documentary You Can Call Me Bill, Legion M represents a paradigm shift in the industry. Jeff Annison, Legion M's Co-founder and President, views equity crowdfunding as more than just a financial strategy. He states, “It's a different way to fund your company, or a different way to fund your film. And we look at it as a fundamentally different way to build a fundamentally different type of .”

Legion M Co-founder and President, Jeff Annison, explained, “For the William Shatner documentary, we basically replaced the role of a single financier writing that check with 1,200 small financiers that wrote smaller checks.” The minimum investment for the documentary was set at $100. Investors can even buy a stake in Legion M itself for as little as $40, with the company boasting over 45,000 investors.

Established in 2016, Legion M capitalized on the opportunities presented by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which eased capital-raising barriers and permitted innovative funding avenues previously restricted by securities regulations.

While crowdfunding is not a groundbreaking concept, Legion M takes it to unprecedented heights, offering everyday moviegoers a genuine stake in Hollywood's decision-making process. In under a decade, the studio has collaborated with A-list Hollywood stars, including Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis for 2016's “Colossal,” and Simon Pegg alongside Minnie Driver in 2023's Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose.

Breaking new ground, Legion M has also financed the recently released cryptocurrency documentary titled “This is Not Financial Advice,” cementing its status as a trailblazer in the evolving landscape of Hollywood financing.

Popular crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo have been instrumental in empowering creators to bring their projects to life with the support of dedicated fan bases. These platforms have seen impressive funding results, such as $3.1 million for Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here in 2014, $5.7 million for Rob Thomas' Veronica Mars movie, and a record-breaking $11.3 million for Critical Role's Legend of VoxMachina, subsequently acquired by Amazon Prime Video.

However, one crowdfunding trailblazer stands out from the rest—Legion M. While Kickstarter and similar platforms do not permit financial returns for backers, Legion M disrupts this norm. If a film or television project backed by Legion M excels at the box office or gets acquired by a distributor, investors reap financial benefits.

In a groundbreaking move, Legion M recently funded My Dead Friend Zoe by collecting funds not only from its investors but also from traditional Hollywood financiers, including Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce.

Legion M's unique model also offers creators access to its vast fanbase. Independent filmmaker Chris Temple, co-director of This is Not Financial Advice, found Legion M's support to be a perfect fit for his documentary exploring retail investors navigating the crypto . Temple noted, “This is a grassroots film about investors who have finally gotten access into markets that they don't have access into, and people taking control of their own finances,” emphasizing the resonance with Legion M's mission.

The landscape of film financing is undergoing a transformative shift, with companies like Legion M and Angel Studios paving the way for a new era in the industry. Angel Studios made waves with its crowdfunded success, Sound of Freedom, raking in an impressive $250 million at the global box office on a modest $14.5 million budget.

While Angel Studios focuses on bringing “light” to entertainment, particularly in the realm of religious titles, Legion M has carved its niche in catering to the diverse interests of the Comic Con crowd. Although rooted in the comic book and pop domain, Legion M is expanding its portfolio to encompass comedies, thrillers, murder mysteries, dramas, sci-fi action flicks, and documentaries.

Co-founder and CEO, Paul Scanlan, emphasized the uniqueness of Legion M's approach, stating, “What's nice about what Legion M is doing is we're creating a built-in audience.” The company's distinctive logo, an “M” with a bar over top representing the Roman numeral for one million, symbolizes Legion M's ambitious goal of drawing in one million fans as shareholders.

(IPA Service)





The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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