Ben Affleck And the Matt Damon They start their own production company that promises to put creatives first – both in terms of less corporate red tape…and more money in the long run.
The two Hollywood giants — who each have three Academy Awards, and who have starred in, written, and directed countless hit movies over the years — announced Sunday that they’re launching something called Artist Equity… which speaks exactly to their purpose here.
The idea behind this new venture is to host and cater to high-end clients in the film and TV industry – but instead of forking their money up front, the way a big studio/broadcaster might these days on talent for hire, BA’s and MD’s are taking it old school.. With a deduction of profits.
Back in the day, pre-broadcast, this was the showbiz playbook. Actors, directors, and others associated with a flick are often contractually entitled to cash after the fact based on how well something does at the box office. If a movie gets crushed over time, that could mean more money than the one-off payment — as high as it may seem at first — is the SOP now.
Ben and Matt want to redo it, with BA explaining to The New York Times … “As operators have proliferated, they’ve really ended back-sharing, and so this is partly an effort to take some of that value back and share it in a more equitable way.” He added, “Not only writers, directors, and stars. But also cinematographers, editors, costume designers, and other important artists who, in my opinion, are underpaid.”
Artists’ Equity also aims to do what the big studios can’t… get out of the way, letting creators have actual ownership/control over their vision without all the politics that tend to get in the way of production, sometimes for the worse. In AE, Ben and Matt are hands-off.
It’s a great idea…and not a pipe dream either. Matt and Ben have secured at least $100 million in seed funding from RedBird Capital Partners — plus an undisclosed amount of dough out of their own pockets. Penn says he will exclusively cater to the artist estate in the future. Matt is also committed to a handful of films.
Boston boys make moves…and movies too! 👀