Legion M, founded by Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison, claims to be the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company. The pair previously co-founded MobiTV, an entertainment media company that won an Emmy for Technical Achievement in Advancing Television. They’ve used their knowledge and connections to create what they call “a business model with the potential to change Hollywood forever.”
On Sept. 13, Mandy, a film which the company has backed since its inception, will be screening across the country. The Hurricane got the opportunity to talk to CEO Paul Scanlan about the company, its projects and getting started in the entertainment industry.
The Miami Hurricane: You are the co-founder of both MobiTV and Legion M. Where did your passion for entrepreneurship come from and how did you make it a reality?
Paul Scanlan: I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve always loved the culture of a startup – bringing people together and taking on an ambitious task together. Our goal with Legion M was to positively disrupt the entertainment space. My co-founder Jeff and I started MobiTV together, so we are used to doing things as a team. We saw an opportunity to start the first fan-owned entertainment company.
TMH: What exactly is a fan-owned entertainment company?
PS: If you take a look at Hollywood, most of the major studios aren’t owned by fans, they’re owned by Wall Street. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Wall Street is going to be purely driven by the bottom line. That’s why most big projects are just remakes and reboots of anything with an existing audience. Jeff and I wanted to build the audience and then make the content. Instead of rebooting the next “Star Wars,” we want to create the next “Star Wars” franchise.
TMH: Why is the concept of a fan-owned entertainment company so special?
PS: The most successful projects in Hollywood have three things: money, the best creatives, and an audience. At Legion M, we’re fusing together the money and the audience and using that to back great artists. When you have a built-in audience, that’s the silver bullet in Hollywood that everyone wants. When “Mandy” hits theaters, it already has a fanbase and Legion supporting it. We supported production, we supported it at Sundance, and now we’re introducing it to the community. That’s something the industry needs these days.