×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Felix & Paul Studios Finds Funding Via VR Outfits, Production Incentives and Savvy Distribution

Solid strategies underpin the company's business plan

Until now, the bulk of the financing for Felix & Paul Studios’ projects has come from Oculus and other companies with virtual reality platforms, including Samsung and Google. This is not corporate altruism; the moves are intended to address the classic chicken-and-egg dilemma faced by purveyors of new media technology: you can’t sell the hardware if there isn’t enough content to play on it, and you can’t finance the content if only a few own the hardware.

While sales for the first generation of consumer virtual reality headsets were underwhelming, a new batch of better, cheaper models, similar to the upcoming Oculus Go, which is wireless and self-contained, have the potential to transform the VR industry and, in turn, the business models used by companies such as Felix & Paul.

“If headsets 2.0 do as well as they’re projected to do or even come close, there are going to be enough viewers and customers, effectively, to inspire third-party financiers to jump in,” says Felix & Paul’s chief content officer Ryan Horrigan. “And if markets continue to grow, I think the budgets will get to a significant place.” Although he can’t comment on specifics, he says, “We’re getting close to cable television drama cost-per-minute.”

According to Horrigan, the business plan Felix & Paul is crafting is akin to those employed in the indie film world, which combine minority equity investments with foreign sales, tax credits and international co-productions. It works particularly well for Felix & Paul, which, because it is based in Montreal, can take advantage of Canada’s wealth of government tax incentives, as well as co-production treaties with close to 60 countries.

As with its counterparts in the traditional film and TV business, Felix & Paul can also use windowing — selling its projects sequentially to different platforms in a variety of regions.

The first window rights have typically gone to the VR platforms underwriting the content, such as Oculus, owned by Facebook, but there are a growing number of potential buyers around the world that could help bolster the balance sheet.

“It ranges from specific location-based venues that need content — that’s a No. 1 evolving market — to more traditional streaming distribution,” says Bryan Besser, co-founder of the talent agency Verve and a partner and an investor in Felix & Paul Studios. “There is a very large market for 2D 360 video, which can be viewed on mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop, so you don’t have to own a headset to experience it.”

(Pictured above: Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show)

More Artisans

  • Chile's Production Incentives Include New 30%

    Chile Incentives Pilot Program Aims to Draw Producers With 30% Rebate

    With over 2,500 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, the long and narrow South American country of Chile encompasses a remarkable variety of weather patterns and landscapes. Filmmakers traveling there will discover that the Chilean Economic Development Agency in alliance with nation’s film commission recently launched what it calls a Pilot Program for High-Impact Audiovisual Investment [...]

  • Set di "Gomorra 3", regia di

    'My Brilliant Friend,' 'Gomorrah' Show Different Sides of Naples

    When Saverio Costanzo, the director of HBO and RAI’s “My Brilliant Friend,” started to plan how he would depict the grand but gritty city of Naples — one that’s so vivid in the imaginations of millions of Elena Ferrante readers, he quickly decided that the working-class neighborhood at the core of her four Neapolitan novels [...]

  • (L to R) SAMUEL L. JACKSON,

    How a Costume Designer Brightened M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass'

    Paco Delgado’s costumes are as varied as his films. Contrast the drama “The Danish Girl,” the futuristic fantasy “A Wrinkle in Time” and the period musical “Les Misérables.” Now he’s in comic-book territory with M. Night Shyamalan’s newest superhero/supervillain thriller, “Glass,” which Universal releases Jan. 17. The costume designer’s career began in Barcelona and London, [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • READY PLAYER ONE

    How Writer-Crew Collaborations Are Changing the Script for the Creative Process

    In traditional filmmaking, once a script is written, the director and department heads break it down and figure out the costs and logistics of production. But if the screenwriter collaborates during the creative process with key crew members, the entire production can benefit.  Such collaboration offers the prospect of help on many fronts. For example, [...]

  • avengers infinity war

    'Avengers,' 'Lost in Space,' 'Ready Player One' Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations

    The Visual Effects Society announced nominees for the organization’s 17th annual awards on Tuesday. Leading the way in the film and TV fields, respectively, were Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and Netflix’s “Lost in Space.” Each picked up six nominations. Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” received the most nominations among animated feature contenders with five. “Ready Player One” [...]

  • Dynasties BBC Vundu Pack

    Bush Guides, Night Cameras Help BBC America’s ‘Dynasties’ Catch Unique Moments

    Just getting to one of the locations of BBC America wildlife documentary series “Dynasties” — presented by David Attenborough and following the lives of endangered animals — requires an 11-hour flight from London to Johannesburg, a two-hour connection to Harare, Zimbabwe, an hourlong chartered Cessna 206 trip to Mana Pools National Park airstrip and an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content