How Crowdfunding for ‘The Chosen’ Proved Positive Stories Can Be Successful

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Epoch TV

“The Chosen,” a biblical drama about the life of Jesus that became a multi-season TV show viewed by millions, has opened new business opportunities for creators of films amplifying positive values, according to the CEO of its production company.

The crowdfunded project to produce the series was created in response to overwhelmingly negative stories produced by the entertainment industry, said Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios, the company that produces and distributes “The Chosen.”

“There’s a very dark cynical media that might be very honest and gritty but wherever society goes, it becomes a negative, reinforcing activity of telling these stories in a way that we are. And that tends to move us down,” Harmon said on EpochTV’s “Crossroads.”

“At Angels Studios, we’re looking to amplify stories of light, there’s plenty of darkness, there’s plenty of negativity, there’s plenty of cynicism out there. There’s an opening [in] the market, where people just want to see stories that are filled with light, and that make them want to be better than they are.”

To illustrate his filmmaking philosophy, Harmon said: “A really good story with childlike delight … helps us remember who we are … and to be a better person and to try to make the world a better place than we found when we were born here.”

“I think that we come to this earth, filled with boundless light as a child. … But then, adults, jaded adults that have gone through life, tend to snuff out that light over time.”

New Business Model of Filmmaking

Angel Studios was started with the help of 19,000 people who invested over $10 million in the first season of “The Chosen” and the company was named after those people, the CEO said.

The series is distributed on The Chosen mobile app that connects to streaming devices. Viewers who watch the show for free can select the “pay it forward” option to help generate income for future episodes and seasons. The traditional Hollywood business model of paying $10 for a ticket or $15 for a monthly fee is turned on its head, Harmon said.

“The Chosen” became the number one crowdfunded film of all time, the company website said.

“But this only works with content that people really care about,” Harmon said. “And it just so happens that people care about telling the story of Jesus and that we need it today. And it needs to be told in a fresh and authentic way.”


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