BIG ANNOUNCEMENT – June 13th

Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel

 

Shortly after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on June 8th, Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, will give updates on the proceedings, answer questions, and share important announcements.

 

Join us as we LIVE STREAM the event on our Facebook page. facebook.com/VidAngel. (6/13/17 at 7:00 PM MDT).

 

You can watch the proceedings from the June 8th hearing with this link. http://bit.ly/2r6rEla Start at time – 1:04:00.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Hearing

June 8th, 2017, in Pasadena, CA, we were back in court at the United States Court of Appeals – 9th Circuit. You can watch the proceedings with this link, starting at time – 1:04:00. http://bit.ly/2r6rEla

We most likely will not receive results from the hearing for at least a few months.

On Tuesday night, June 13th, at 7:00 PM (MDT) Peter Stris will discuss the hearing at VidAngel Studios.

Join us as we LIVE STREAM the event with 7-time Supreme Court Advocate and VidAngel Appellate Lawyer, Peter Stris, and VidAngel CEO, Neal Harmon, on our Facebook page. facebook.com/VidAngel (6/13/17 at 7:00 PM MDT).

VidAngel Buys Disney

Update: April Fools!

 

Struggling film studio The Walt Disney Company announced plans to be acquired by media juggernaut VidAngel Inc. after weeks of closed-door negotiations. Disney, whose quirky indie properties “Star Wars” and “Marvel Cinematic Universe” failed to expand beyond their cult followings, threw in the towel after years of poor financial performance.

 

“Sometimes you have to know when to quit,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a prepared statement, noting that the company’s recent expansion into theme parks had proved even more calamitous than its work in film.

 

The deal comes as no surprise to analysts, who long anticipated Disney’s inability to compete with streaming behemoth VidAngel.

 

Indeed, Disney filed suit last year, claiming that its financial prospects would be “irreparably harmed” by the much-larger VidAngel. Similar arguments were made by Disney’s co-plaintiffs, the struggling family-run studio Warner Bros., and low-budget independent studio Twentieth Century Fox, whose financial woes have prevented it from updating its name for the 21st century.

 

The lawsuit proved to be too little, too late for the cash-strapped Disney, thanks in large part to its bungling of the fast-growing online filtering market.

 

“We thought we understood filtering customers,” Iger told reporters Saturday. “We argued in court that they wanted a filtering option that can’t add new movies, doesn’t offer HD or 4K, and can’t work on Apple TV, FireTV, Roku, Chromecast, Playstation, Xbox, smart TVs, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, Showtime, or iTunes.”

 

“It turns out they wanted to filter movies,” added Iger. “You live and you learn.”

 

Prior to accepting VidAngel’s acquisition offer, Disney’s dire financial straits had forced the studio to begin making movies using only a computer, resulting in such box office duds as Zootopia, Inside Out, and Frozen, Disney’s greatest failure to date.

 

A Disney representative declined to comment on the selling price of the company, though sources close to the deal report a price tag easily north of $1,000.

 

Cinderella Castle
In retrospect, Iger conceded that building a full-scale castle had been “wildly impractical.”

 

Guardian Angel Action Update – Edition #3

 

Good day Supporters,

It’s time for another update for VidAngel friends and allies.

 

Legal Update

 

This week, the 9th Circuit Court scheduled the oral argument on our appeal of the injunction for the morning of June 8, 2017, in Pasadena, CA. You can read both sides’ arguments here on our blog.

 

Legislative Movement

 

The former CEO of ClearPlay, Bill Aho, who spearheaded passage of the Family Movie Act in 2005, has started a coalition to seek legislative protection to ensure the future of the filtering industry. It’s called the Protect Family Rights Coalition and VidAngel is a member. Bill is respected by Congress and all who work with him.  We are grateful to have his perspective on the industry and approach to solving problems.

 

Grassroots Activity

 

People all over America are joining the cause every day.  A great family in Florida has started a group called #SaveFiltering. They have now surpassed 170,000 signatures and are even collecting donations to fuel the cause. VidAngel has started a new page at SaveFiltering.VidAngel.com to let our supporters know of organizations like these and the many other ways they can help.  

 

VidAngel Studios

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 5.20.42 PMWe’re happy to announce the release of our very first eight comedy specials. These are available for free (for a very limited time so enjoy them this weekend) on the VidAngel app and website. We hope you enjoy these comedy specials and dozens more that will be published very soon (we will have taped 50 specials for season one by April 29th).

 
This is not an official launch of VidAngel content. We’re giving you an exclusive early look at our new content so you can provide feedback concerning any potential issues with our first titles. You’re welcome to share the specials with friends now, but we will not promote them until we’re sure that everything works properly.

 
We are publishing The Last Descent, a VidAngel Exclusive Movie. In addition, our first theatrical release, Tim Timmerman, has been the highest rated film to come out of Utah and opened #2 in Utah behind Logan. It is opening in Arizona April 7, 2017 and will be expanding to other locations soon.

 
We hope you enjoy this great content while we fight for your filtering rights in court and in Congress.

 

 

Why is VidAngel making its own content?

 

Your filtering data gives VidAngel deep insights into the type of content you’re looking for. We aim to create family-friendly content based on that feedback.

 

 

Are you changing your mission?

 

No. Our primary mission is to ensure families everywhere have the choice to filter content as they wish. We do not envision VidAngel Studios’ content replacing all the great Hollywood content available.

 

In 2013, when we began work on VidAngel, our plan was to create the best filtering service in the world, attract a large audience of like-minded people, and then build a new family-friendly streaming platform. We knew that people who chose to filter would seek family-friendly content, and that eventually we would become large enough to create some of that content.

 

That day has arrived, and we are so excited for what the future will bring, including new content and filtering.

 

Paul Ahlstrom, one of our VidAngel board members, said it best: “VidAngel is making good popular.”

Onward and upward,
Neal Harmon, CEO

 

VidAngel Studios’ First Theatrical Release In Theaters Today

Today is a big day for VidAngel Studios. Tim Timmerman, Hope of America is hitting theaters throughout Utah. If it does well, we plan to roll it out nationally.

The film was received by a record-breaking Premiere audience of 1,700 people during a two night Premiere event: Wednesday in Utah Valley and Thursday in Salt Lake County.

It’s do or die on the first weekend for Indie films so please get your tickets for tonight or Saturday so that we can spread the movie to a broader national release. Use coupon code TIMMERMAN with any Megaplex theater to get $5 off.

REVIEWS

He’s got a raffish charm, she’s delightful as an ingenue, and their chemistry together sparkles.” – Sean P. Means, Salt Lake Tribune

“This film blew me away! You guys killed it.” – Scott Winn (YouTuber ScottDW)

“Hilarious and refreshingly funny coming-of-age flick. Seriously. Worth the watch.”
“HILARIOUS”
“Awesome! So clever!”
“Really funny movie. I didn’t want it to end!”
-Sneak Peak Audiences

 

How did VidAngel Studios make a movie so fast?
VidAngel Studios did not make the film, but we’re backing the film. This is a film made by director Cameron Sawyer and his Picture Picture Films team over the past four years.  We are thrilled to partner with the Tim Timmerman team and Purdie Distribution (theatrical distribution) on this release.

Why is this movie PG-13?
We’re surprised the MPAA rated this movie PG-13, and it will likely be one of the cleanest PG-13s you’ve ever seen.
What are the content warnings? Two instances of d*mn. Two instances of b*tch*n. Implied drug use – Tim grabs a joint from a fellow student to prevent him from smoking it. High school counselor has a creepy crush on Tim but he doesn’t seem to know it. Strapless and sleeveless dresses with some cleavage. Suggestive material – two high schoolers passionately make out in a van.

ttposter

Can I expect VidAngel Studios content to be appropriate for me and my family?

 

I am writing a response to a series of tweets I received from @Papabrose on Twitter. He was disappointed in Tim Timmerman, Hope of America because he felt like there were sections he would filter.  First off, thanks for voicing your concern.

 

Can I expect VidAngel Studios content to be appropriate for me and my family?

 

VidAngel aims to produce family-friendly while encouraging artists to give their best work. However, that does NOT necessarily mean an unfiltered VidAngel Studios movie will meet your family’s unique standards. In fact, I personally plan to set a few filters for my young children when we watch Tim Timmerman together.

 

If I had been the producer from the beginning, aiming to reach my own young family, I would have made the movie with a few changes. But then, all of my family are younger than high school age. Cameron Sawyer, the director, made this movie for a high school audience and older. In fact, Cameron is already adjusting one part of the film based on responses from me and the VidAngel Premiere audience on Wednesday.

 

This is a well-done indie film. Cameron has done a terrific job creating a film with an uplifting message about honesty, integrity, and the harms of exploiting others for political gain. Is the movie “family-friendly” for all audiences? No. So, as with any content, we advise parents to use discretion in deciding whether to view the movie with their families.

 

Audiences Are Responding Well

 

High schoolers love Tim Timmerman and adults feel nostalgic watching it. We’re at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes so far. Cameron did a wonderful job creating a movie to match his audience and we’re excited to back his film.  

 

Exciting Future

 

Next time we do a film, we can work with Cameron and his team from the beginning, and provide more feedback based on our filter data. Future filter data on this film will give Cameron insights into creating his next film. 

The feedback loop is a core advantage of VidAngel Studios content. This is something that all of us will learn to do better over time.

 

In Conclusion

Tim Timmerman is a funny, charming rom-com set in the nostalgic nineties and we’re thrilled to get behind it, but please review the data below before deciding to see it in theaters.

 

Thanks for supporting the premiere and voicing your concern @Papabrose! It gave me a great opportunity to explain how filtering will inform artists future work.

Best,

Neal Harmon

 

Why is this movie PG-13?

We’re surprised the MPAA rated this movie PG-13, and it will likely be one of the cleanest PG-13s you’ve ever seen.
What are the content warnings? Two instances of d*mn. Two instances of b*tch*n. Implied drug use – Tim grabs a joint from a fellow student to prevent him from smoking it. High school counselor has a creepy crush on Tim but he doesn’t seem to know it. Strapless and sleeveless dresses with some cleavage. Suggestive material – two high schoolers passionately make out in a van.

UPDATE: Read VidAngel’s and Disney’s Appeal Briefs to the Ninth Circuit

Legal BattleJustice in the United States court system requires patience (this battle could take years to resolve), but we are trying to keep everyone up-to-date on the progress of the fight to #savefiltering. Here is our report on the appeal to the Ninth Circuit:

December 12th, 2016 - Judge Birotte issues a Preliminary Injunction. You can read the ruling here.
January 11th, 2017 - VidAngel files its Opening Brief on Appeal to the Ninth District Court. The introduction starts at page 17. 
February 8th, 2017 - Disney filed its response (including Disney's standard manipulative mud slinging)

February 22nd, 2017 - VidAngel files its final reply before the Ninth Circuit hearing. 

VidAngel’s mission is to ensure families everywhere have the option to filter content as they wish. The future of filtering is in good hands because these appeals are being argued by Peter K. Stris, who has been to the Supreme Court 7 times.

There is a lot to digest, but we feel that the final two paragraphs of our most recent brief sum it up well:

"Although the public interest in filtering is strong and Congressionally sanctioned, the injunction robbed the public of any viable means to filter. VidAngel is shut down; ClearPlay no longer functions for [streaming] new releases; and the Studios have scared everyone else away.

"According to the Studios, the relevant public interest is in 'upholding copyright protections.' The Studios have confused themselves with the public. The actual public has no interest in seeing America’s only commercially and technologically viable filtering company destroyed through an unnecessary preliminary injunction. The legal questions in this case are as complex and novel as they are important. If the Studios prevail, they will be entitled to damages. If VidAngel prevails, they will not. In either case, there will be a final judgment that 'upholds copyright protections.'"
Now we are just waiting to know when we will get a hearing. We will continue to keep you up to date.

Guardian Angel Action Update – Edition #2

Good Afternoon Supporters,
We’ve got a few hot news items worthy of an update!

Dr James Dobson Lends His Support

We are deeply honored to have the support of the legendary Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and now CEO of Family Talk. I recently spent time with Dr. Dobson in Colorado Springs, and was featured in his national broadcast. The episode is entitled Freedom from Hollywood: The Censorship War with VidAngel. Click here to listen to this broadcast. Please share this with everyone you know…here is our Facebook post with a sharable link!


Legal Update

We have filed our reply brief, our final written response to Disney’s legal arguments, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It is a very important but easy read. Here’s a brief quote:

“Although the public interest in filtering is strong and Congressionally sanctioned, the injunction robbed the public of any viable means to filter. VidAngel is shut down; ClearPlay no longer functions for new releases; and the Studios have scared everyone else away.

“According to the Studios, the relevant public interest is in ‘upholding copyright protections.’ The Studios have confused themselves with the public. The actual public has no interest in seeing America’s only commercially and technologically viable filtering company destroyed through an unnecessary preliminary injunction. The legal questions in this case are as complex and novel as they are important. If the Studios prevail, they will be entitled to damages. If VidAngel prevails, they will not. In either case, there will be a final judgment that ‘upholds copyright protections.'”

We believe the 9th Circuit will schedule oral argument on the appeal for sometime in May. We’ll let you know when it’s scheduled.

Enjoy the entire brief here (it is worth the read).

 
Legislative Movement
We are still actively seeking a legislative clarification to the 2005 Family Movie Act, to prevent the studios from continuing to misconstrue in the courts. We have more meetings in DC this coming week with various allies. As soon as we have further news on that front, I will let you know.

 
Grassroots Activity

People all over America are joining the cause every day. A group called #SaveFiltering, started by a Florida family, has now surpassed 160,000 signatures. We’ve also started a new page at SaveFiltering.VidAngel.com to let our supporters know how they can help.
Support VidAngel Studios’ First Theatrical Release

VidAngel Studios presents the award-winning comedy that’s taking film festivals by storm, TIM TIMMERMAN, HOPE OF AMERICA.

There are multiple ways to support our first film:

  1. If you are in Utah March 1st or 2nd, you are invited to attend the EXCLUSIVE premiere of VidAngel Studio’s FIRST ever theatrical release: Tim Timmerman, Hope of America! Let us know so we can get you tickets!
  2. If you are not near Utah, request that Tim Timmerman, Hope of America come to your local theater by clicking here.
  3. If you’d like to book a theater for a screening for your company or organization, please contact timmermanmovie2017@gmail.com
  4. Like Tim Timmerman on Facebook.
  5. Share the trailer on Facebook.

For more information about the premiere, frequently asked questions about the film and to watch the trailer, click here.

Why is VidAngel making its own content?
Your filtering data gives VidAngel deep insights into the type of content you’re looking for. We aim to create family-friendly content based on that feedback.

Is VidAngel changing its mission?
No. Our primary mission is to ensure families everywhere have the choice to filter content as they wish. We do not envision VidAngel Studios’ content replacing all the great Hollywood content available. We envision that it become a model for artists to use filter feedback to better meet the needs of their audience.

Conclusion
As always, would love to hear from you and answer any questions you have. Thanks for your support in this fight!

Sincerely,
Neal Harmon, CEO

Dr. James Dobson Lends His Support

We are deeply honored to have the support of the legendary Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and now CEO of Family Talk. I recently spent time with Dr. Dobson in Colorado Springs, and was featured in his national broadcast. The episode is entitled Freedom from Hollywood: The Censorship War with VidAngel. Please share this with everyone you know…here is our Facebook post with a sharable link!

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