×
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

  • Judy Movie 2019 renee zellweger

    How Costumes Convey the Story in 'The Irishman,' 'Dolemite' and 'Downton Abbey'

    A screenplay’s words are one thing. The director’s visual choices in framing scenes are another. Ruth E. Carter, who won an Oscar earlier this year for her “Black Panther” costume design, “You can’t tell the story in a movie without a costume. A good costume supports the performance and the script. You just go along [...]

  • Vladimir Smutny The Painted Bird Cinematography

    Poetic Lensing Accents Horrors of Czech Republic’s ‘The Painted Bird’

    After debuting in competition at the Venice Film Festival, Václav Marhoul’s “The Painted Bird,” which is the Czech Republic’s submission for this year’s best international film Oscar category, has gone on to great acclaim, much of it focused on the extraordinary cinematographic work of Czech DP Vladimir Smutny. His stunning black-and white-lensing for the film, [...]

  • Us Movie Lupita Nyongo

    Hair, Makeup Mirror Authentic Internal and External Changes in Characters’ Arcs

    Cinematic hair and makeup is often unappreciated as a time-travel device. “I remember when Will [Smith] did ‘Ali,’ or Jamie Foxx did ‘Ray,’” says Stacey Morris, co-head of the hair department on “Dolemite Is My Name.” “They took you there. Hair, makeup, wardrobe — it all comes together and complements each other. You can imagine [...]

  • Rocket Man Movie

    Sounding Off: 'Rocketman,' 'Judy' and 'Ford v. Ferrari' Sound Mixers Push Forward

    When sound is mixed for a film, a kind of alchemy happens. As one track is pushed forward, your attention moves with it. The best sound mixers also can balance loud environments, so you’re still able to hear dialogue and crucial story elements while being immersed in the visuals. Films heavy on concert performances or [...]

  • Laika's Missing Link, starring Hugh Jackman

    Laika's Chris Butler on 'Missing Link': 'Stop-Motion Requires a Different Frame of Mind'

    Chris Butler, Oscar-nominated for the 2012 animated “ParaNorman,” is back in the race again with Laika’s “Missing Link,” a beautiful and sweet tale of friendship told in stop-motion. Butler says: “When people learn what I do, their reaction is ‘Fun!’ It is fun, but it’s also extremely hard.” He adds with a laugh, “In this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content