he times are changing, says actor and producer Nicholas Carella (pictured).
“The way that movies are distributed is different, therefore the ways you recoup your funds are different, and therefore the old models have to change,” he tells Playback Daily.
That’s part of why Carella founded Vancouver-based Sociable Films in 2011, alongside his Harper’s Island co-star Ali Leibert andHooked on Speedman director Michelle Ouellet.
The business model is simple: artists pool their resources together and work as a community to create films that are both artistically fulfilling and fiscally responsible.
“We thought we could start with the philosophy of nurturing each other’s talent and dream projects, and see if we could build a successful model around putting the projects first,” says Carella.
Carella hopes this will allow any compelling and exciting idea brought to Sociable Films to be seen through to completion.
But the idea for Sociable Films has been years in the making.
Ouellet credits its creation to the team’s entrepreneurial spirit and experience on the festival circuit, which she says helped it find its voice.
The ability of its founders to attract and maintain relationships with established names such as Ben Ratner and April Telek likely didn’t hurt.
Thus far, the company has operated out of pocket, but with After Party, an upcoming improv comedy film in pre-production, Carella and Ouellet continue to look for a sustainable business model to help them generate revenue and fund their projects.
“We’re trying to think about realistic sales projections from our previous film, and talking to distribution partners about what kind of revenue we can safely project based on a good film that’s made well and kept within a certain budget,” says Carella
“Then we work backwards to see what the budget would have to be, and who we’re paying out to have our best chance at a profit,” he adds.
To date, the company has relied on fundraising and working on small projects to generate revenue, a strategy that Ouellet says will also ensure its ability to fund future projects.
“Starting small, looking at projections and various models of projections with these small films and getting them to generate revenue so they’re sustainable is definitely a way to keep private investment coming in,” she tells Playback Daily.
“Having a detailed analysis of each film project in that kind of rigourous way will let us see our opportunities for funding, especially in this changing market,” she adds.
Carella echoes Ouellet, adding that even a small return on an investment can increase the odds of getting funded again, and that getting as much support as possible from day one is likely to give investors more reasons to say yes to a project.
Sociable films officially launches May 5.