Angel Studios demonstrates the power of consumer-driven entertainment — NRB

angel studiosthe Utah-based streaming platform behind many of the most successful crowd-funded shows in history, is changing the course of the entertainment industry by telling stories that “amplify the light” and offering a “viable family alternative to Hollywood”.

The Angel journey began in 2013 when the Harmon brothers – Neal, Jeffrey, Daniel and Jordan – dissatisfied with the way their families were consuming content, launched VidAngel, a filtering service that allowed users to view movies and shows popular TV channels filtered out of unwanted content. This offer drew the ire of major entertainment companies such as Disney and Warner Bros., forcing VidAngel into a years-long legal battle. After a lengthy lawsuit over copyright issues, the company reached a settlement in 2020, agreed to sell the filtering platform, and celebrated “miracle after miracle after miracle.” Meanwhile, a law called the JOBS Act eased some restrictions and allowed small businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their property and use crowdfunding platforms to raise funds. Thanks to a loyal customer base eager to participate in the mission, VidAngel has raised over $10 million.

With the future of VidAngel secured, the next chapter in Angel’s story has emerged: the original creators of VidAngel – now a separate legal entity headed by former Clearplay CEO Bill Aho – have launched a brand new movie studio called Angel Studios and a business model with a vision to help filmmakers and viewers create “high quality television and movies without having to answer to the gatekeepers of Hollywood”.

Co-founder Jordan Harmon explained that Angel Studios is named after people who are actively involved in the mission: “Angel Investors.” Angel is backed by more than 55,000 “angels” whose investments in the creators’ films or series determine the content that will be produced and distributed. Building communities around every film project, Angel Studios is a “community film studio” that seeks to put the power of the entertainment industry in the hands of consumers and creators through the Community Video on Demand (CVOD) model. .

How the CVOD model works: Creators submit projects on the Angel platform, and angel investors invest in the projects they want to see the most (via the Angel funding portal) with the potential opportunity to receive a return on their investment if the project is successful. In post-production, content is distributed directly to viewers and gains momentum as fans share it with others.

“The last thing we want to do is create a studio that is hugely successful, and then twenty to thirty years from now it won’t feel like our original mission or goals,” Harmon said. “Our mission is to tell stories that amplify the light and we believe we can do that by leaning on the crowd to help us make those decisions.”

Angel Studios provides safe spaces for young audiences with wholesome content such as “The Tuttle Twins,” “Jungle Beat,” and their most recently announced animated film, “David,” which the creators touted as “biblically authentic and “alongside the likes”. of ‘Moana’ and ‘Tangled’ for quality and entertainment value.”

“The Wingfeather Saga,” the #1 crowdfunded animated children’s show based on singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson’s award-winning book series, raised $5 million for its first season in 20 days, beating the fastest record at $5 million set by “The Chosen,” with a slated for release in December.

“Children learn through the power of stories. Stories are what influence our mind and thought process and how we feel about the world,” Harmon said. “It’s so important that these stories align with our values ​​so that they impact the future teenage and adult years of our children.”

In an interview with The Washington TimesConnor Boyack, author of the original ‘Tuttle Twins’ book series, said parents shouldn’t be “shocked” to see mainstream children’s entertainment laced with ideas that cause anxiety, fear and confusion.

“History is full of examples of malleable child minds being targeted by those in power,” Boyack said.

Angel Studios takes the opposite approach: giving the public, including parents, the opportunity to participate in creating entertainment options that reflect their values.

“People participate in the culture. They impact the culture and it’s not just a bunch of Hollywood executives making those decisions,” Angel Studios co-founder and CEO Neal Harmon said in an interview with CBN News. “They’re the smartest executives ever, that’s the public.”

“The Chosen,” Angel Studios’ original hit series depicting the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, has been translated into more than 50 languages ​​and viewed more than 400 million times, and is considered one of the largest crowdfunded media projects in history. In 2020, the “Pay it Forward” model was launched, making “The Chosen” available for free worldwide on a dedicated app (“The Chosen: Stream The Series”). In the first 12 months, this merchandising model generated over $47 million in revenue.

“If the free content is compelling and good, monetization will follow,” Harmon said. “And Angel wants ‘The Chosen’ to reach over a billion people by 2027.”

Although an official release date has not been announced, the cast and crew are currently filming the show’s third season, recently filming Jesus’ Meal of the Five Thousand (informally known as “F5K”) with more than 12,000 extras participating in North Texas.

In May, Angel Studios management announced an exciting near future at its annual investor live stream event, “Illuminate ’22,” announcing a lineup of over $100 million in new original content.

“We’re thrilled with the caliber of content Angel Studios investors have selected for crowdfunding this year, validating our thesis that the crowd will make better decisions than a few executives. The success of ‘The Chosen,’ ‘Tuttle Twins and ‘Dry Bar Comedy’ is now leading to incredible new series like ‘Luso’ and movies like ‘David’, totaling production budgets of over $100 million,” Neal Harmon said. “Angel has gone from from the brink of bankruptcy to $123 million in revenue in one year.”

The event highlighted how Angel will continue to use its innovative crowdfunding model by enabling creators and audiences to form “passionate” communities around their creative projects, making the story behind the show as important as the final project itself.

“You’re all Angel Studios,” Neal Harmon told the live audience during Illuminate ’22. “And you are over 55,000.”

Angel Studios’ mission extends globally, with co-founder Jeffrey Harmon and his wife recently launching Angel Studios Brazil with over 50 team members and a goal of reaching over 50 million. views in Brazil. Other international Angel operations are based in Australia, France, Germany, Norway and the UK.

Angel Studios is challenging secular Hollywood dogma and moving beyond one crowd-funded hit at a time, proving that there’s never been a more opportune time to tell stories that are “true, noble, righteous, authentic, beautiful, admirable, excellent or worthy of praise”. part of the studio’s mission from Philippians 4:8.

NRB member Angel Studios was an exhibitor and sponsor of NRB 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. Angel’s “The Chosen” was a sponsor of NRB 2021 in Grapevine, Texas, featured set pieces such as Peter’s boat and a campsite, and hosted a world premiere for the sixth episode of season two.

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