Legion M taps fans, financiers to make motion pictures

Legion M taps fans, investors to make movies

Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

William Shatner goes to the William Shatner handprint event hosted by Legion M throughout 2022 Comic-Con International: San Diego at Theatre Box on July 21, 2022 in San Diego, California.

Emma Mcintyre|Getty Images

When Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison initially thought up their production studio, Legion M, they set out to construct not simply a business, however a neighborhood.

The film studio behind buzzy names like “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” “Colossal” and the upcoming William Shatner documentary “You Can Call Me Bill” belongs to a shift in Hollywood over the last years to a brand-new crowdfunding design, permitting manufacturers to obtain contributions for movie and tv jobs and benefit financiers with more than simply a minimal edition piece of product.

Now, fans can get a real return on their financial investment.

“I think a lot of people look at equity crowdfunding as a different way to raise money,” stated Annison, cofounder and president of Legion M. “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 business.”

Legion M released in 2016 in the wake of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or TASKS, Act, which reduced barriers to entry for raising capital and enabled business to gain access to financing in manner ins which were formerly disallowed due to securities guidelines.

While crowdfunding is not a brand-new idea, Legion M is taking it to the next level– providing normal spectators a seat at Hollywood’s table.

In less than a years, the studio has actually dealt with a variety of Hollywood stars, consisting of Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis on 2016’s “Colossal” and Simon Pegg and Minnie Driver in 2023’s “Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose.”

The business has actually likewise moneyed the just recently launched cryptocurrency documentary “This is Not Financial Advice.”

Risks and benefits

Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo have actually long enabled developers to take advantage of their most ardent fan bases to produce material.

In the past, Kickstarter backers created $3.1 million for Zach Braff’s 2014 movie “Wish I Was Here,” $5.7 million for Rob Thomas’ 2014 “Veronica Mars” film and a record-breaking $113 million for Critical Role’s “Legend of Vox Machina” animated series, which was later on gotten by Amazon Prime Video.

However, Kickstarter does not permit project developers to provide those who contribute any monetary returns.

That’s what sets Legion M apart. If a movie or tv task carries out well at package workplace or is purchased by a supplier, those who invested get a cut.

“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,” Annison stated.

The minimum financial investment for the documentary was $100

Investors can likewise purchase a stake in Legion M itself for just $40 The business states it has more than 45,000 financiers.

For Legion M’s “My Dead Friend Zoe,” the business gathered funds from Legion M financiers and from bigger, more standard Hollywood investors, consisting of Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce.

Left to right, Chris Temple, Glauber Contessoto, Zach Ingrasci and Rayz Rayl of “This Is Not Financial Advice” position for a picture throughout the 2023 Tribeca Festival at Spring Studio on June 10, 2023 in New York City.

Erik Tanner|Getty Images

Legion M uses developers access to its fanbase, something that independent filmmaker Chris Temple, co-director of “This is Not Financial Advice” discovered matched his documentary. His movie centers on a number of retail financiers browsing the peaks and valleys of the crypto world.

He stated dealing with Legion M “felt very natural from the first call.”

“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,” he stated, keeping in mind the parallels with Legion M’s work.

Fans understand finest

Legion M is not alone in this area. Angel Studios made headings after its crowdfunded “Sound of Freedom” protected around $250 million at the worldwide ticket office on a budget plan of simply $145 million.

While Angel Studios markets itself as a production studio that brings “light” to home entertainment, much of its focus is on raising spiritual titles to the mainstream. Legion M’s focus is the Comic Con crowd, though it’s diversifying its portfolio to consist of funnies, thrillers, murder secrets, dramas, sci-fi action flicks and documentaries.

Jeff Annison and Paul Scanlan go to the opening night of “You Can Call Me Bill” at the 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals at The Paramount Theater on March 16, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Frazer Harrison|Getty Images

“What’s nice about what Legion M is doing is we’re creating a built-in audience,” stated Scanlan, the business’s cofounder and CEO.

The business’s logo design, an “M” with a bar over leading representing the roman character for one million, is a nod to Legion M’s objective of attracting one million fans as investors.

“Imagine an entertainment company or a studio that has a million fans that are literally financially invested in the films that they have coming out, but they’re also emotionally invested in the films,” Annison stated. “Because they’ve been following around since day one and they got a chance to go behind the scenes and they’ve heard the director articulate his story and their vision for what the movie will be.”

One of those fans is Matt Conkling, who made his very first financial investment in the business in 2019, drawn to how Legion M provided financiers a possibility not simply to provide cash, however to be associated with productions, too.

Soon after his very first financial investment, Conkling saw a post from the business asking for a variety of props consisting of neon indications and cars for its mystery-thriller movie “Archenemy,” which starred Joe Manganiello of “True Blood.”

“I raised my hand,” Conkling stated, who offered his 1975 Chevy ElCamino Two days later on, Conkling got a call to assist deal with the automobile around set.

“So it went from, ‘Here’s my keys,’ to a huge crash course on the film industry,” he stated. “After that, I got hooked.”

Conkling had actually formerly attempted to participate the ground flooring of a movie task from a various production business he chose not to call, however he wasn’t able to fulfill the minimum financial investment quantity of $25,000

“How often do regular everyday people get the chance to potentially invest in something at a low dollar amount?” he stated.

For Conkling, Legion M has actually ended up being more than a casual financial investment, it’s ended up being a profession, of sorts. While he continues to fund private movie jobs the business is promoting– and stated he eventually wishes to invest enough to own 1% of the business– by offering his automobile to one production, he’s handled to discover his specific niche in Hollywood.

After “Archenemy,” Conkling was tapped to source the titular white van for Legion M’s “The Man in the White Van,” a criminal offense thriller based upon real occasions that took place the 1970 s. That gig cultivated another on Dennis Quaid’s “The Long Game,” which shot inTexas And it hasn’t stopped there: Conkling can even be spotted playing dead in the background of the Netflix movie “The Grey Man.”

“Legion M is the gift that keeps giving,” Conkling stated.