How did you come up with Legion M?
Following our successes with MobiTV and the New York Rock Exchange, Jeff [Annison] and I were excited to team up again on this next venture that we had dreamed about for years. With the goal of “opening the gates to Hollywood,” we set out to unite a Legion of fans to form an influential and breakthrough entertainment company. Taking advantage of the recently introduced JOBS Act (which we had been following closely), we build a community of fans offering a first of its kind opportunity to invest and co-own the Company with us. The timing was perfect for both of us and we seized the chance to team up again.
Why Wefunder rather than Crowdfunder or Kickstarter?
We love Kickstarter, Indiegogo and the entire rewards based crowdfunding phenomena, but we wanted to go next level. While those platforms are great tools for supporting a project you want to see succeed, that’s often where it ends. You make your donation. You receive some type of reward. That’s it. With Legion M, we’re selling actual stock in the company. The creators we’re working with are not asking for a donation. They’re individuals seeking investors in return for quality entertainment that grows those investments. We’re a team, working together, for the same goals. As an investor, you have the opportunity to participate in the success of the project. This is a massive difference.
Additionally, one of the most important differences between equity based crowdfunding and Kickstarter for entertainment projects specifically is that with the rewards-based donation model, you’re typically getting the content as one of the rewards for your donation. This is problematic as it breaks the commercial model for that content (creator has effectively pre-sold the rights to the content). With our model, Legion M fans/shareholders aren’t just pledging money, they’re owning a piece of the company and are incentivized to help make the commercialization of the content a success. This is our key differentiator, when we bring content to market, we have a Legion of fans ready to help us blow it out.
What was your inspiration behind this project? Was it more fan based?
Our inspiration came from a combination of 3 things, first and foremost, we are fundamental believers in the JOBS Act and the transformative impact it can have to build new economies driven by the people (Democracy Wins Wall Street), secondarily, we had previously started a company called The New York Rock Exchange and had seen first-hand how powerful it is to bring fans and artists to the same side of the table. Lastly, we are both massive fans and consumers of entertainment and we have been dreaming of creating a fan-owned entertainment company for years. To us, Legion M is more than just a company, it’s a community and a movement.
Legion M is definitely more fan based. Fans are the source of our super power. Our mission is to partner with our fans to create a vibrant, engaged community; a legion of fans emotionally and financially invested in our success. Our long-term goal is to have 1M fans as shareholders, with 1M fans, we will be unstoppable.
When are you planning on putting out your first film? How will it be funded?
We’ve already announced one of our first projects, ICONS: face to face a VR Interview Series with Stan Lee already agreed to be our first subject. Our first film announcement will likely come later this year and members of the Legion will be the first to know. We are currently partnering up with Hollywood creatives to develop films, TV shows, and digital content. We partnered up with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the team behind Robot Chicken, 42 Entertainment, Meltdown Comics and Alamo Drafthouse and will be accepting our next rounding of funding in Q4.
Icons project: You’ve asked investors and members whom they think is important to get. Who do you think is important to get involved in this project and are you limiting it to just the entertainment industry or will it expand to include people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or even the Final Five from Rio 2016?
We have already attracted a broad array of Hollywood heavy-weights – people like Stan Lee, Seth Green, Tim League, Scott Landsman, as well as some very influential creative allies like Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Meltdown Comics, Alamo Drafthouse and more. We are partnering with proven talent and innovators in the space. We definitely have room to expand to other luminaries and are in discussions with many others. As we gain steam, we have no shortage of people that are attracted to our model and eager to get involved. After all, what’s not to like about a Fan-Owned Entertainment Company and Community?
A big thank you to Paul for taking time out of his busy schedule! If you’d like to read an investor’s opinion, you can find that article here and I hope you consider joining the Legion!