Photos By: BJ Ramos
Legion M is the very first fan-owned entertainment company. This new approach to creating a film studio will allow fans the chance to invest and get involved in the creation of films, TV shows and other entertainment projects. Legion M is based on a simple model—“Fans own the company, fans get behind-the-scenes, and when [Legion M becomes] successful—fans share the rewards.”
“Legion M is opening the gates to Hollywood and giving fans the opportunity to be a part of the creation of new content. We’re building a legion of one million fans to empower creators and make great content,” said Paul Scanlan, CEO and co-founder of Legion M.
Legion M will team with a group of talented and experienced creative allies. At launch, those allies include Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which is the award-winning studio behind Robot Chicken. Meltdown Entertainment will be partnering with Legion M on creative matters—Meltdown Comics is practically a nerd mecca in Southern California and it was the birthplace of Nerdist. 42 Entertainment will also be a creative partner of Legion M and the company is responsible for many immersive entertainment campaigns.
Can you talk a little bit about how Legion M got its start?
Jeff Annison: Legion M is the culmination of a lot of things. Paul and I talk about how everything we have done in life has led us to this point. In 1999, we founded mobitv. In 2004 we launched a live television service for your cell phone. People told us then it was the stupidest idea they had ever heard of—‘nobody is going to watch TV on their cell phone.’ Flashforward a couple of years later—we won an Emmy Award for helping to break TV out of the living room. We had another company called the New York Rock Exchange—it focused on bringing fans and musicians together. It allowed us to see how powerful the connection is when you bring fans and creators together. That’s really the genesis of it.
What kind of projects are you guys looking to create at Legion M?
Paul Scanlon: We are looking across the board—movies and TV primarily. We are also looking at others types of content as well. We don’t want to be pigeonholed but we don’t want to be too broad either with our content. We are launching at Silicon Valley Comic Con so that gives you an idea of the type of fans we are targeting. Comic Con is the epicenter of passionate fans. As we grow our Legion we will be looking to them to guide us.
It feels like all the movies that come out today are superhero based, or sequels, or based on an existing property. TV however has become a place where you can tell smaller and more intimate stories. Will Legion M follow this current Hollywood blueprint of big franchises on movie screens and more character based stories in television?
JA: If you look at Hollywood in general it is very risk adverse. They want to make safe bets and that’s why there are so many superhero films and so many sequels. It’s very hard for ideas that are outside the box to gain traction in that environment. The studio looks at outside the box ideas and just sees risk. With Legion M we will already have an audience that is financially, and emotionally, invested into the projects. That will cut down on a lot of the risk. Because of all that we will be able to do projects that won’t fit into the current Hollywood mold.
Do you guys worry about doing something that is so new and different that a may scare some people away? Opening a studio that fans have so much power in may rub people the wrong way—especially people in the industry. Is that a concern at all for you guys?
JA: Anytime you are doing something new you have to explain it to people. When we explain Legion M to people they always say, ‘Why didn’t someone do this sooner?’ People get it and they get excited about it.
PS: Fans love the idea and creators love the idea. Some naysayers, and they are few and far between, look at it and say, ‘You want to have a million share holders? That sounds like a nightmare.’ That is nirvana for us. We want a million fans involved with our company. This isn’t how Wall Street works—they want as few people involved as possible. People today want to change how the financial industry works. This is a chance for fans to be involved at day one.
So what can fans do if they want to join Legion M?
Right now the shares aren’t available. The IPOs will be available later this summer. But, today you can go to the website and you can reserve a spot. When you reserve a spot it is a non-binding reservation. You don’t have to make any commitments until you see more details later this summer. But, you will guarantee that you will have a spot with Legion M.