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How "Sound of Freedom" Hit Success & What Makes Angel Studios So Different?

Angel Studios Lady Liberty Logo, Credit, Angel Studios

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How did a two-year old film production operation from a crowdfunded streaming platform get the kind of success Sound of Freedom has achieved?

This question totally makes sense, a film studio you didn’t even know existed surprises you with great work. Now you want to know, “what is up with these filmmakers, Angel Studios?” Well, you should know that this studio, unlike most film studios, is different- VERY different from the traditional Hollywood Studio. “How so?” you ask. Well, first off, these filmmakers mostly come to Angel NOT to have them greenlight their film and make it, only to own their entire catalogue and control it. No, that’s Hollywood. Angel Studios works with Angel Funding, which is a crowdfunding platform to assist these filmmakers to get their projects funded and distributed, primarily. This effort with Sound of Freedom was a little different than this process, but we’ll get more into that later.

Filmmaking is a VERY EXPENSIVE endeavor, which is why most filmmakers have to rely on a large megacorp to get their film made— we’re talking MILLIONS of clams just to START asking professional actors to get involved by signing a letter of intent. But in doing it this way, Angel gets to help filmmakers (filmmakers that Hollywood would likely ignore) to get the most EXPENSIVE part of filmmaking handled for them, through their crowdfunding platform, which helps them connect with angel investors (yes, exactly) and in other numerous ways, such as building a fanbase and selling merch. These are the kinds of efforts that can bring a film from being in the red to going into the black.

So, after a filmmaker works to get their project funded through the crowdfunding process, they film it themselves with their own production team, and then Angel assists them in distributing the project on their app, in theaters, or licensing it out to other platforms around the world in the most efficient way possible. They use creative ways to pay for this through a “pay it forward” model that is very charitable, asking those who watch on their app to pay for it voluntarily, and through additional donations (to help those who can’t pay) which allows more people to watch for free.

Now, the theatrical model they’ve formed is only slightly different. Instead of relying so much on the “loss-leader” free app to get seen, they rely more on the initial fundraising to pay for a theatrical run, and then asking people to pay for tickets in order to “pay it forward” for those who can’t pay or won’t go to theaters without this charitable program. Theatrical experiences have, after all, become more expensive through the years.

Go to their site to learn more about Angel.

Go to Angel Funding to learn more about their projects funding.

Angel Studios Illuminate 2023 | Angel Studios
Illuminate was a night full of exciting announcements, talented actors and filmmakers, and upcoming TV shows and films. Learn all about the night here!

So, how’d it happen? Starting with diehard “The Chosen” fans, the theater runs have grown to be more and more of a sure bet for the company. They pay for themselves and create valuable buzz, raising the profile of the projects. Special engagement viewing for special episodes, and the “Christmas special” got these fans to come through the doors and step on sticky floors and the buttery detritus. Then, the “Sound of Freedom” model came into play only after “His Only Son” came into theaters earlier this year. This Abram-to-Abraham origin-story did surprisingly better than expected WITHOUT a large in-built fanbase to provide padding for that risk-averse investor. But this is nothing compared to this new film. We can now see that running a campaign for a film you didn’t even assist to get produced through the crowdfunding model (as in the case of Sound of Freedom) you can still make a splash.

But why did Sound of Freedom do even better? The nature of the content coming into alignment with the Angel audience at the right time is what really helped make this a special success case. Without that “alignment” of values, and at the right time, this film may have failed, because Angel spends an enormous amount of time vetting and market-studying their films before even getting to initial funding… for good reason. Hollywood films often do very poorly even after successful screenings with test audiences. Apparently, not as necessary here, because those with Judeo-Christian values really seem to care about this subject. Gee I wonder why. Yes, let’s not forget that the market demographics of this company (the fanbase) is more conservative, Christian, and traditional, which is a highly UNDERSERVED market in Hollywood, so when something happens in Hollywood that they like, they notice.

The Wingfeather Saga Season 2 concept art, credit, Angel Studios

But, also remember, this is not an Angel production. It wasn’t made using their in-house crowdfunding platform. It has more of the traditional Hollywood elements, a filmmaker who has released multiple films theatrically, some serious “starpower” in Caviezel, and some high profile “recommends” like Mel Gibson. This is starting to look more and more like how Hollywood gets things successfully marketed. Not the way the little indie films rely on a crowdfunded platform with their hardcore fans and investors getting “perks”.

All in all, this film is the kind of film that this audience WANTS. Angel was in the right place at right time to distribute a film that Hollywood ignored (they had a chance to release this film when Disney bought Fox), and failed to see the market demand for it. And I pray that more films like this one get distributed and seen by millions more than Sound of Freedom can muster, because more good will have to be done before our nation can get back to repairing our culture from the kinds of people who would call this film “a political film” of some kind. No, it just seeks to do good, and Angel is here for it. So I’m here in support of Angel 100%. Let’s goooooooo!

Support Sound of Freedom HERE by buying tickets, or pay-it-forward for others!

Pay it Forward for Sound of Freedom | Angel Studios
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