Ben Affleck, Matt Damon form ‘artist-led studio’

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE MATT Damon and Ben Affleck’s studio, Artists Equity, will seek ‘entrepreneurial partnerships’ with filmmakers.

International media on 21 November reported actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and Gerry Cardinale of investment firm Red Capital Partners have formed an “artist-led studio” that will collaborate with filmmakers to produce content — with “profit participation” among everyone involved.

A story on said “the new studio, Artists Equity, will seek to create ‘entrepreneurial partnerships’ with filmmakers.

“Terms were not disclosed. RedBird Capital is making what’s termed ‘a significant financial commitment in launching the company, providing strategic capital and operational expertise to accelerate its development and production pipeline.”

Affleck is chief executive officer, and Damon is chief content creator. Michael Joe, former COO of STX Films and former EVP at Universal Pictures, is chief operating officer.

In a statement, Artists Equity said “is an intellectual property monetization platform anchored by three core principles:
“Broaden Access to Profit Participation: Provide performance-based incentives to creators and crew that allow all participants in the production value chain to share in profits;

“Fuel IP Monetization Through Creator Partnerships: Focus on partnering with both established and emerging filmmakers who want to work in a talent-friendly environment with management that understands and supports their creative vision;

“Leverage a Data-Driven Approach to Distribution: Utilize insights derived from proprietary databases to better inform decision-making around distribution strategy, optimizing reach and valuation of content.

For starters, the company will produce a movie with Affleck and Damon co-starring, and Affleck directing, the story behind the creation of the Air Jordan shoes, for release in 2023, in partnership with Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports, and Mandalay Pictures.

Deadline said Artists Equity will do three projects in 2023, “with plans to scale and release a minimum of five projects per year in the future.”

“Artists Equity was conceived from Matt’s and my longtime passion for the art of storytelling and our shared desire to help creators deliver on their vision, as we have been fortunate to do throughout our careers,” Affleck was quoted in the company’s statement.

“The entertainment industry is defined by great partnerships — writers, directors, producers, crew, actors — and throughout my career I have learned that collaboration is what drives success. Our goal with Artists Equity is to build a creator-focused studio that can optimize the production process with shared participation in the commercial success of projects.”

Said Damon: “Historically, the success of a film was based on its box-office performance. Now, with the rise of streaming, the business behind filmmaking has intrinsically changed. However, Ben and I know that the power will continue to be in the hands of the creators, no matter which direction the industry evolves,” said Damon. “Artists Equity enables these visionaries to take ownership of their creative power, providing a platform for both established and emerging filmmakers to streamline the development of their content.”

Affleck and Damon combined are said to have “generated more than $10.7 billion in worldwide box-office sales, over 110 feature films as star or costar, six produced screenplays, eight TV series as executive producer or writer, and earned three Academy Awards.”

Artists Equity will hold office in Los Angeles.

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