June 18, 2024

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Legion M taps fans, investors to make movies

2 min read

William Shatner attends the William Shatner handprint ceremony hosted by Legion M during 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 first dreamed up their production studio, Legion M, they set out to build not just a company, but a community.

The movie studio behind buzzy names like “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot,” “Colossal” and the upcoming William Shatner documentary “You Can Call Me Bill” is part of a shift in Hollywood over the last decade to a new crowdfunding model, allowing producers to solicit donations for film and television projects and reward investors with more than just a limited edition piece of merchandise.

Now, fans can get an actual return on their investment.

“I think a lot of people look at equity crowdfunding as a different way to raise money,” said 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 launched in 2016 in the wake of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act, which lowered barriers to entry for raising capital and allowed companies to access funding in ways that were previously barred due to securities regulations.

While crowdfunding is not a new concept, Legion M is taking it to the next level — giving ordinary moviegoers a seat at Hollywood’s table.

In less than a decade, the studio has worked with a number of Hollywood stars, including Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis on 2016’s “Colossal” and Simon Pegg and Minnie Driver in 2023’s “Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose.”

The company has also funded the recently released cryptocurrency documentary “This is Not Financial Advice.”

Risks and rewards

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo have long allowed creators to tap into their most ardent fan bases to…

2024-03-03 09:00:01

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