Mid-Atlantic Studios seeks breakout opportunity

By Posted on Dec 20 2018 | By

Lack of funding often stops the cameras from rolling

Creative artists have long suffered from a lack of capital and the ensuing ability to sustain a living. Even Mozart struggled financially because musicians were not held in high regard in his day. And yet, he was one of the finest composers in the history of music.

The same can be said today about a legion of underfunded artists. The talent and imagination to create is thwarted by a lack of capital. Enter Ron Newcomb, stage right.

Newcomb, 45, and a resident of Bealeton is many things: former Marine, former police officer, holder of an MBA degree, and a filmmaker who toils daily in the information technology sector to put bread on the table.

But his heart is in film.

“There’s no sustainability in filmmaking. Instead of looking to others to solve the problem I believe the local community can do that through the power of equity crowdfunding.”

Say what?

If the accepted business term is new to your ears, you’ll likely be hearing more about it. Due to a change in financial regulations a few years back, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission now permits the solicitation of money online that provides equity ownership in the company being invested in.

Prior to the change, small investor equity creation could not occur. “Instead of one or two wealthy people funding a project as in the past, now we can mobilize an army to fund a film project ourselves,” said Newcomb.

Taken to its logical conclusion, the new form of raising capital paves the way to keeping dollars in the local economy where it originated. Further, it can boost local employment and give artistic voice to its investors.

When Tip O’Neill, the late speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives said, “All politics is local,” he encapsulated crowdfunding’s potential.

Under Newcomb’s scenario anyone, but especially a writer, actor or filmmaker, could make an investment as small as $100 in his company, Mid-Atlantic Studios, and become much more than just a passive investor. Moreover, if the film that’s produced turns a profit, a share is returned to the investor.

Examples of how an individual could benefit from this risk-reward financing provide an intriguing picture of the logic behind the concept. “An investor can draw an actual check if the film is profitable but he also can become a member of the cast and crew.

“They will get notices about such opportunities to participate in the filmmaking. A writer will also have an opportunity to submit other projects for the studios’ consideration. When production actually begins, all the hires will be local talent.”

Moreover, Newcomb has a library of film he has created over years on the art of filmmaking. If an investor bumps up his stake in the firm to $250, he gains assess to the library.

Leverage in the company jumps even further with an investment of $10,000. “You would actually become an advisor and help greenlight projects to the final stage of filmmaking.”

Often such regional projects are spearheaded by West Coast companies who fly in to produce a film with much of the needed management and talent in tow. Newcomb points out today is the golden age of television with episodic films being produced by Netflix and many others offering serials running for months based around a common story.

His first round of investment is seeking to generate $100,000. If he doesn’t get the funding by April of next year the opportunity goes away. “It can’t stay open in perpetuity. You must have a window of opportunity.”

If he achieves his goal, his production company will undertake three film projects. The first two have been written by him and a third will be submitted by a member investor. “The third project will be left open giving people an opportunity to submit ideas of their own.

“If we do well, it will be the gift that keeps on giving. We just roll those funds back into the studio and keep on producing films,” said Newcomb.

The first two projects offer a glimpse into the entrepreneur’s imaginative creativity. The first is a western sci-fi project set in space and the second a futuristic dystopian tale of what would happen if America broke out in civil war and how the tragedy would unfold.

Newcomb points out another problem within the film industry. “We are graduating people from film schools at a large rate with the expectation there’s going to be a job waiting for them on the other end. That’s just not the case in our region.

“All these young people are graduating but there’s no jobs for them so they end up moving out of the area. The only way we are going to solve the problem is we ‘the collective’ come together.”

To learn more about the opportunities being offered by Mid-Atlantic Studios and listen to a brief video on the concept, visit the company’s Facebook page at:

Published in the December 19, 2018 edition of the Fauquier Times.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES