Startup Legion M Lets Fans Invest in Productions for $40


  • Startup manufacturing firm Legion M is crowdsourcing funds and promising to present film followers greenlight energy.
  • Legion M, based by Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison, lets traders purchase shares for as little as $40. 
  • Shareholders can vote on motion pictures the corporate buys and produces through its app Movie Scout. 

Hollywood’s inventive pipeline has lengthy been dominated by a handful of business energy gamers who wield widespread affect over what will get made in La La Land. 

However startup manufacturing firm Legion M is trying to vary that by crowdsourcing funding from strange people who, in return, obtain fairness and the ability to vote on what tasks the corporate acquires and develops. Launched in 2016 by cofounders Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison, the corporate invests in tasks, purchases the rights to distribute movies, and has a small in-house workforce incubating authentic content material. However its funding mannequin eschews conventional avenues for elevating cash like VCs or asset managers, embracing the knowledge of the gang — and small impartial investments — as a substitute. Over the previous six years, Legion M has obtained funding from roughly 35,000 traders, with a mean funding dimension of about $400.

Among the many firm’s credit are tasks like 2016’s “Colossal” starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis; the 2018 film “Mandy” starring Nicolas Cage; and the 2019 comedy “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” directed by prolific horror film director Kevin Smith. Whereas followers did not vote on to greenlight these tasks, the corporate mentioned its polls and surveys pointed to the recognition of their themes and stars. Legion M now has 4 movies in post-production slated to be launched in 2023, the cofounders added.

On the coronary heart of Legion M’s mannequin is the “principle that there are folks on the market — simply random folks on the planet — which have an unnaturally good proclivity” to forecast which tasks will develop into blockbusters, Annison, the corporate’s president, instructed Insider.

It is presently in its ninth funding spherical, through which it is dropped its minimal funding threshold from $100 to $40. In the end, the purpose is to hit one million traders. The corporate hasn’t accepted any enterprise capital or backing from institutional traders since its inception, although it mentioned it would not be against such backing so long as it did not battle with Legion M’s mission or values. 

Along with having a seat on the decision-making desk, traders are capable of get entangled in different methods, mentioned Scanlan, Legion M’s CEO. Up to now, their vehicles have been utilized in filmed scenes, as an illustration, and the corporate is trying to incorporate a few of their pets in an upcoming venture.

‘Fantasy soccer for movie buffs’

Annison acknowledged that Legion M’s strategy — handing voting energy over to tens of hundreds of non-Hollywood sorts — hasn’t been fully with out skeptics.

“Lots of people say, ‘Nicely, wait a second — having 35,000 folks vote on every thing, that simply seems like a large number,'” he mentioned. “Legion M shouldn’t be a democracy the place all people votes on every thing.”

Whereas traders vote on a few of the firm’s tasks, they do not vote on all, the cofounders mentioned. And so they’ve arrange extra measures — like a 25-member advisory board, which incorporates actor William Shatner and Netflix awards exec Lisa Taback — to information technique. Legion M counterbalances these business professionals’ insights with normal traders’ sentiments, which it captures by Film Scout, its “gamified” standalone cellular app.

The app is especially helpful at occasions like massive movie festivals equivalent to Sundance or South by Southwest, the cofounders mentioned, the place patrons compete over rights to the customarily dozens or greater than 100 indie movies on supply over only a few days.

Movie Scout, which shows trailers and forged lists for the movies, lets customers at residence separate the wheat from the chaff by voting on their favourite titles, or those they consider are sure for the best industrial success. Movie Scout may accumulate greater than 100,000 votes throughout a single pageant, Annison mentioned. Scanlan mentioned customers play it “like fantasy soccer for movie buffs.”

Ultimately, the corporate is trying go public. It is unclear when an IPO may occur, although, given the continuing financial stoop.

Crowdfunding content material has drawn new curiosity in Hollywood lately, notably through fashions that depend on non-fungible tokens and blockchain-based transactions

Electromagnetic Productions — a startup movie and TV studio launched by former MGM co-CEO Roger Birnbaum and Environment Leisure founder Mark Kimsey — invited holders of particular NFTs to take part within the studio’s inventive improvement course of earlier this yr. Writers and administrators have additionally relied on platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter to fund ardour tasks: “Veronica Mars” screenwriter Rob Thomas raised north of $5.7 million on Kickstarter to provide a movie based mostly on the CW collection after initially failing to safe studio funding.

Legion M shared its newest pitch deck completely with Insider, with 15 slides that break down its funding mannequin, tasks, and income streams. Try the way it’s working to get followers on board as traders.

Do you’re employed within the leisure business? Get in contact with this reporter. Reed Alexander will be reached at [email protected], or SMS/the encrypted app Sign at +1 (561) 247-5758.

‘The primary firm constructed from the bottom as much as be owned by followers’

Legion M’s founders say that their mannequin, which emphasizes followers’ views, provides “elementary aggressive benefits” over manufacturing corporations backed by Wall Road giants.


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‘An organization with a built-in viewers for every thing it creates’

One slide spells out the potential energy of 1 million fan-investors — as shoppers, promoters, and predictors of profitable tasks.


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‘Our viewers of shareholders is a continuing supply of vitality’

Legion M touts its knowledge assets together with the Movie Scout app that lets customers evaluate and price movies.


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The Nicolas Cage movie ‘Mandy’ was an early success for Legion M


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Legion M says its annual income has surpassed $1 million


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