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New film 'Holy Ghost' poised to disrupt entertainment industry business model

by jmaloni


Mon, Aug 18th 2014 05:45 pm

Driven by unprecedented consumer demand, the No. 1 most funded faith-based film in Kickstarter history leapfrogs movie theaters and traditional retailers with direct-to-audience strategy

Wanderlust Productions - the independent film studio behind the cult hit trilogy "Finger of God," "Furious Love" and "Father of Lights" - is poised to disrupt the entertainment industry's long-established business model on Sept. 6 with the 48-hour world premiere of its documentary film "Holy Ghost." Fueled by more than 2,500 consumer-investors who surged to support director Darren Wilson's Kickstarter campaign, which raised a record-breaking $360,000 in just 45 days, the film's producers are deploying a futuristic, direct-to-audience strategy they say will fundamentally change the way movies are consumed.

" 'Holy Ghost' is a film that breaks all kinds of barriers," Wilson said. "We shot it with no script and no plan; we just showed up and allowed ourselves to be led on an adventure. Our distribution model is equally unique. We put our audience - the fans - in the driver's seat. They are the investors, marketers, promoters, distributors and the consumers in this new model.

Technology has changed the way people are able to consume entertainment products, and with 'Holy Ghost' we are setting out to prove that the future is already here."

"Holy Ghost" is the most-funded, faith-based film in Kickstarter history, and No. 11 for all films funded on Kickstarter.

Rather than pursuing a traditional theatrical or direct-to-home entertainment release, Wanderlust Productions is staging a one-time, world premiere event on Sept. 6, at which time fans from all over the world will have the opportunity to view "Holy Ghost" directly on any digital device, free of charge.

The film's producers - banking on a rapidly surging social media campaign (in which 2.4 million have already seen the trailer), and a dedicated fanbase from their first three film offerings - believe the one-time, global event will attract viewers from all over the world and drive future VOD, DVD and Blu-ray purchases.

Wanderlust already has preliminary data to support its innovative distribution model. Last week, the company partnered with the direct-to-fan, high-quality video platform VHX to offer an exclusive pre-screening of the film. Despite the fact the film will be offered for free in just a month's time, tens of thousands of fans signed up and paid $5 to see it early. And of those who viewed the pre-screening, a significant number did so multiple times.

Metrics Demonstrate Viability of New Model

•Nearly half the people who watched the exclusive pre-release of "Holy Ghost" saw it on mobile devices, and just 55 percent of purchases were in the U.S.

•400 churches are already signed up to show the film on the upcoming U.S. premiere tour immediately following the Sept. 6 world premiere event.

•Fueled by popular demand from Tugg - a website that empowers consumers to bring a film to their local theater - 40 theaters are already signed up to show "Holy Ghost." Many more are expected.

A recent,widely publicized Christian News Service survey by American Insights for the upcoming historical thriller film "NICAEA" indicates a strong interest in "films that explore questions about God." This survey was conducted May 1-8 on a randomly selected, representative nationwide sample of 1,200 adults. It was conducted via landline (50 percent), cell phone (20 percent) and online panel (30 percent). The margin of error is +/- 2.8 percent.

Here's what it found:

•80 percent of faith-driven consumers are likely to see a movie that explores questions about God, while 43 percent are very likely to see such a movie;

•68 percent of faith-driven consumers at least occasionally see movies that explore questions about God, while 22 percent frequently see such movies;

•49 percent of faith-driven consumers would go to movies more often if there were more movies that explored questions about God; and

•65 percent of faith-driven consumers would invite a non-Christian friend to see a movie that explores questions about God.

To learn more about "Holy Ghost" and view the trailer, visit http://holyghost.wpfilm.com.

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