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Angel Studios CEO Neil Harmon On The Movieguide® Podcast: ‘We Want To Amplify Stories That Give Us Hope’

Photo from The Chosen Series Instagram

Angel Studios CEO Neil Harmon On The Movieguide® Podcast: ‘We Want To Amplify Stories That Give Us Hope’

By Movieguide® Staff

Angel Studios CEO Neal Harmon recently shared how his audience-first studio stands apart from Netflix, Disney+, and other content companies on the most recent episode of The Movieguide® Podcast. 

“Angel studios is a crowdfunded movie studio that connects creators directly with their communities,” Movieguide® CEO Robert Baehr at NRB 2022. “Most people know the show THE CHOSEN. THE CHOSEN was created when Dallas Jenkins made a small, short film called THE SHEPHERD. We saw this short film and said, Hey, this is a really, really great concept, if you turn this into a TV show, we think that the crowd will want this made. And so we helped Dallas to crowdfund that project.”

“We also are the studio behind DRYBAR, which gets billions of views,” he added. “We’re also behind TUTTLE TWINS and FREELANCERS and the [upcoming] Wingfeather Saga, which is written by Andrew Peterson… Our North Star is that the content that we distribute are stories that amplify light. We feel like there’s enough darkness and cynicism in the world, and we want to amplify those stories that give us hope.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t deal with hard things. But the way that they approach them will amplify light,” he added.

Unlike Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, Angel Studios puts the ownership back on audience members, who can invest in morally uplifting content.

“Netflix is a renting system, everybody pays their $15 a month to be able to subscribe to Netflix, and then they watch whatever Netflix chooses to put there,” Harmon explained. “If there’s any upside to that content, Netflix gets it all. So the only owners are the elite.”

“It’s largely the reason that people and families like myself, in middle America, are so disconnected from what Hollywood’s creating,” he added. “Because we’re not owners in that system. We wouldn’t compare ourselves to Netflix, we wouldn’t compare ourselves to anything today. What we’re building is completely distributed. And what we’re building in 10 or 15 years, there’s gonna be millions of people who say ‘I made a difference in changing the culture.’ And it’s because of the technologies that we’re building to help them do that.”

Harmon said that Angel Studios’ business model was partly inspired by the Statue of Liberty, and the power it offers creators and audiences.

“We’ve set up a system where the executives at Angel don’t make those decisions,” Harmon said. “Those decisions are made by the audience.”

“The Statue of Liberty says on it, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ And it was a beacon of light to the immigrants who are coming to the US and looking for a new life,” he continued. “We see Angel as a place for the outcasts, those who’ve been outcast from Hollywood, the system, and the elites, to go build something beautiful.

“Creators need to bring a torch, and then the audience reviews that torch and they answer some questions and those whose torches get passed by the audience, not by us, end up being crowdfunded and then greenlit for production.”

Listen to the full episode of The Movieguide® Podcast below: