Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are launching their own production company, which promises to prioritise creativity in terms of less corporate red tape… and more money in the long run.
The two Hollywood titans, who have three Oscars between them and have starred in, written, and directed countless hit films over the years, announced on Sunday that they were launching Artists’ Equity… which speaks exactly to their goal here.
The idea behind this new venture is to host and cater to top people in the film and television industries — but instead of paying ’em big bucks up front, as a big studio/streamer might these days on talent-for-hire, BA and MD are going old-school… with a cut of the profits.
Back in the day, pre-streaming was the way to go in show business. Actors, directors, and others associated with a film would be contractually entitled to money based on how well something did at the box office. If a film does well over time, it could mean more money than a one-time payment, no matter how large it appears at first.
Ben and Matt want to bring it back, with BA explaining to the New York Times… “As streamers multiplied, they effectively ceased back-end participation, so this is partly an attempt to regain some of that value and share it in a more equal manner.” He continued by saying, “Not only authors, directors, and actors. But there are also cinematographers, editors, costume designers, and other important artists who, in my opinion, are underpaid.”
Artists’ Equity also aims to do what big studios can’t: get out of the way and give creatives actual ownership/control of their vision without the politics that can stymie production, sometimes for the worse. Ben and Matt are practising laissez-faire at AE.