- “Commodore 64: Computer for the Masses” will be a feature length documentary on Commodore 64, an 8-bit home computer that dominated the lower-end computer market in the 1980s and is the highest selling single computer model of all timei
- Producer Jason Connell, President and Founder of Connell Creations, has executive produced 10 documentaries and founded the United Film Festivals
- Producer Erick Opeka is an Executive Vice President at Cinedigm Entertainment, where he leads the division that develops, launches, and operates the company’s portfolio of over-the-top digital networks (the delivery of film and TV content via the internet)
*You are investing in equity in this offering. Perks are meant to be a thank you from the company for investing. The perks below are inclusive of lower dollar amount perks.
$150: Be Mentioned on Movie’s Official Website
$250: Digital Version of Movie (DRM-free)
$500: Kindle eBook: “Commodore: A Company on the Edge”
$1,000: Special Thanks - Movie Credit
$2,500: Very Special Thanks - Movie Credit
$5,000: Production Assistant - Movie Credit
$10,000: Associate Producer - Movie Credit
$15,000: Co-Producer - Movie Credit
$20,000: Producer Credit - Movie Credit
$35,000: Co-Executive Producer - Movie Credit
$50,000: Executive Producer - Movie Credit
PopDocs Media is raising funds to produce, market, and distribute a feature length documentary on Commodore 64, an 8-bit home computer that dominated the lower-end computer market in the 1980s. The Commodore 64 (C64) is listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest selling single computer model of all timeii, with estimates placing the number sold at approximately 30 million units.iii Research shows that brand recognition for the C64 was at 87% even after the model has been off the market for many years.iv
Over the last decade, Jason Connell has produced 10 documentaries. Two of these films, “The Rock-afire Explosion” and “GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling,” became nostalgic cult fan favorites, received rave reviews, garnered numerous awards, and earned wide distribution deals. Furthermore, the “GLOW” documentary helped inspire a fictionalized series created by Netflix, which was released in Summer 2017.v
Feeling inspired to produce another historically retro documentary, Jason is now turning his focus to his first digital love, the Commodore 64.
“Commodore 64: Computer for the Masses” is set to be the quintessential documentary on the Commodore 64. Jason Connell’s passion for this project started where all obsessions do – in his childhood. In 1982, he was 11 years old when his grandfather gave him a life-changing gift: a Commodore 64 computer. He quickly mastered countless games and spent hours typing in BASIC programs from “Run Magazine” and “Compute!’s Gazette.” During this period, he saw iconic films “Tron” and “WarGames,” which, along with the Commodore 64, opened his eyes to the digital world and would eventually lead to his career in film.
“Commodore 64: Computer for the Masses” will cover a brief history of the company, from its Holocaust survivor and legendary founder Jack Tramiel and prodigy designer Chuck Peddle to how Commodore nearly purchased Apple in its infancy and licensed BASIC computer language from a little company named Microsoft. This will lead up to the inception, development, and subsequent release of the Commodore 64 in 1982. It will show how it impacted the competition and other industries as well as the consumer’s insatiable appetite for a household computer. Commodore 64 went on to sell about 30 million units before it was discontinued in 1993.vi The film will also highlight Commodore 64’s legacy 35 years later and how it influenced many of today’s leaders in technology.
To achieve this vision, PopDocs Media will use historical photographs, archived video footage, and commercials as well as animation and original music. There will also be original interviews and a compelling voice over. PopDocs Media has already assembled a talented and seasoned team which includes a cinematographer, editor, composer, and animator. Additionally, the company has brought on Commodore expert Brian Bagnall as a consultant to the film. He is the author of “Commodore: A Company on the Edge” and “Commodore: The Amiga Years.”
Use of Proceeds and Timeline
Use of Proceeds
Funding from this campaign will be used to produce, market, and distribute “Commodore 64: Computer for the Masses.” If the minimum $50,000 is raised, PopDocs Media plans to use the majority of the proceeds on below-the-line talent and production costs ($27,500), post production ($7,500), and above-the-line talent and producer’s fees ($5,000). If the maximum $275,000 is raised, the company also plans to use the majority of the proceeds on below-the-line talent and production costs ($120,000), post production ($35,000), and above-the-line talent and producer’s fees ($40,000). The company has the discretion to alter the use of proceeds as it deems necessary.
PopDocs Media plans for “Commodore 64: Computer for the Masses” to have an extensive festival run targeting top-tier festivals where the team has relationships (SXSW, Tribeca, etc.) to drive reviews and publicity. PopDocs Media will partner with personalities, creators, authors, and communities with extensive social reach and critical acclaim. It will also partner with prior crowdfunded products and media (e.g. the company has partnered with prior creators of Commodore 64 crowdfunded books and media). PopDocs Media will drive a sustained, ongoing information release campaign utilizing excerpts/segments, teasers, etc. to drive influence on key forums, news sites, social groups, blogs, etc.
Anticipated Production Schedule
Jason Connell, Co-founder and President: Jason has produced 10 feature documentaries, including “Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Chirstians,” “The Rock-afire Explosion,” “Cleanfix,” “Strictly Background,” and “GLOW: The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.” “GLOW” won Best Documentary at three film festivalsvii and inspired the scripted Netflix series.viii Jason is the President and Founder of Connell Creations, which has produced and distributed 10 documentary films, which have secured major distribution domestically and internationally via Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and MTV, among others. Jason also founded the United Film Festivals, which screened high-quality independent feature films, documentaries, and short films of all genres in Los Angeles, New York, London, San Francisco, Chicago, and Tulsa. He is a member and mentor of the Producer’s Guild of America.
Erick Opeka, Co-founder: Erick is the Executive Vice President of Digital Networks at Cinedigm Entertainment, where he leads the division responsible for developing, launching, and operating Cinedigm’s portfolio of over-the-top digital networks. This includes documentary network Docurama and Comic Con-themed network CONtv. Previously, Erick was Senior Vice President of Digital Distribution for entertainment distributor New Video Group, where he oversaw the distribution of over 50,000 hours of content in the digital ecosystem and helped grow New Video into one of the largest aggregators of digital content in North America.ix In 2012, New Video was acquired by Cinedigm for $14 million and up to $6 million in incentives tied to future financial results. The upfront purchase price represented a multiple of approximately 5.6x New Video's 2011 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). At the time of acquisition, New Video had acquired licenses for more than 4,000 feature films and 6,000 television episodes.x Erick is a mentor and advisor at Techstars as well as a member of the Producer’s Guild of America. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Florida State University.
Industry and Market Analysis
Over the last few decades, documentary production, distribution, and consumption has been transformed by digital production, new TV distribution opportunities, virtual reality, and transmedia storytelling. Over the next decade, the industry will be further transformed as audience consumption habits change with the rise in online streaming and on-demand viewing stands. Currently, film festivals are the primary form of distribution for documentaries, followed by grassroots/community screenings, educational screenings, and DVD sales. While not a major source of distribution today, the advent of digital streaming and online content presents significant opportunities in online distribution for the documentary industry.x
Source: Center for Media & Social Impact: The State of the Documentary Field: 2016 Survey of Documentary Industry Members
Around the world, more people are choosing to stream video through over-the-top (OTT) services ─ film and television content provided through high-speed internet connection ─ rather than traditional content distribution services. Today, 53% of U.S. Wi-Fi-connected homes subscribe to at least one OTT service, according to comScore.xii The OTT market is estimated to grow from $28 billion in 2015 to an $62 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 17.2%.xiii Growth in the OTT segment can be attributed to increasing use of high-speed broadband both domestically and globally, a shift in viewer preference for a more customized viewing format, attractive pricing, and more content options including increases in in-house web series production.xiv
As seen the in the chart below, Netflix is the leader in the OTT market, reaching 75% of OTT homes as of December 2016. Behind Netflix, YouTube is the largest player, reaching 53% of OTT homes, followed by Amazon Video with a 33% reach, and then Hulu at 17%.xv
Video is the largest segment of the OTT Market, accounting for over 87% of market revenue in 2015.xvi PopDocs Media expects its largest distribution channel to be subscription video on demand and TV licensing. The subscription video on demand (SVOD) service charges viewers a set monthly fee that allows access to exclusive content and non-exclusive TV shows and movies for which the company has purchased licensing from the content owners. Licensing agreements are purchased and renewed through fees collected from subscribers combined with new debt issues. The global SVOD market was estimated at $17 billion in 2016, and is expected to reach $32 billion by 2021. The number of SVOD users is forecasted to reach 428 million by 2021, up 73% from an estimated 248 million in 2016. The U.S. is expected to remain the market leader in SVOD with a projected 127 million subscribers by 2021, followed by China with a projected 74 million subscribers by 2021.xvii
Jason Connell's Filmography
Jason executive produced the following films:
Not Such a Bad Guy: Conversations with Dabney Coleman (2017): Documentary that looks at the career of character actor Dabney Coleman, who was in “9 to 5,” “Tootsie,” “WarGames,” and “Boardwalk Empire”
County Fair, Texas (2015): Documentary that follows four kids in rural Texas who raise animals to show at county fairs
Tough Ain't Enough: Conversations with Albert S. Ruddy (2013): Documentary on the life of Academy Award-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy, who produced Best Picture winners “The Godfather” and “Million Dollar Baby”
Sadermania (2013): Documentary about the unlikely friendship between Hulk Hogan and his super fan Chris Sader
GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012): Documentary chronicling the first all-female wrestling show
Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians (2011): Documentary about the rise of a blackjack team made up of Christians who successfully win millions from gambling
Divorcing God (2010): Documentary that follows a devout Christian couple whose marriage falls apart shortly after their wedding
Gabi on the Roof in July (2010): Comedy about a New York City painter whose provocative younger sister comes to visit him for the summer
Cleanflix (2009): Documentary that follows the story of a Utah DVD retailer that was caught sanitizing copyrighted Hollywood films
The Rock-afire Explosion (2008): Documentary that explores the animatronic robot band that played at Showbiz Pizza Place
Strictly Background (2007): Documentary about the lives of movie extras trying to make it in Hollywood
Select feature documentaries by Jason Connell:
G.L.O.W: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting: Released in March of 2013, GLOW chronicles the rise and fall of the first ever all-female wrestling show on television through the stories of the women who lived it. This documentary follows the women from initial open-call auditions to training, to global recognition, and the show’s unexpected cancellation in 1990. This film was produced by Connell Creations and has been publicy screened 33 times and featured at 22 film festivals, winning three Audience Awards for Best Documentary.xviii The film is available for streaming on Netflix. Moreover, in June of 2017, Netflix began streaming a comedy-drama television series revolving around fictionalized characters of GLOW.xix
Holly Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians: Released in 2012, this documentary captures the inner working of a team of professional blackjack players made up entirely of churchgoing Christians. Produced by Connell Creations, the film was features in 42 film festivals won seven awards including four Best Documentary Awards.xx Additionally, the film garnered praise from CNN, The New York Times, The Colbert Report, and NPR’s This American Life.xxi
Cleanflix: Released in 2010, this documentary focuses on the dozens of Utah-based edited-movie companies who began sanitizing Hollywood’s copyrighted material without permission in the late 90s. DVD retailers and Hollywood film editors engaged in an intense legal and moral battle that would last for six years. The film has been shown at 19 film festivals with a total of 49 public screenings.xxii
The Rock-afire Explosion: Released in 2009, this documentary, often classified as a rockumentary, that explores the rise and fall of Showbiz Pizza Place, its animatronic rock band, and the origins of Chuck E. Cheese’s. This film reveals how Chris Thrash came to revive a fallen 1980s rock band in the ever-changing media culture. Produced by Connell Creations, the film had an estimated budget of $4,000.xxiii The documentary has been featured in 20 festivals and has been publicly screened over 10 times.xxiv The film was nominated for a Director’s Award for Best Feature at the Boston Underground Film Festival in 2009.xxv
Strictly Background: Released in 2008, this documentary Strictly Background explores the charm and determination of ten professional extras in Hollywood films and television. It follows the ten background actors from their homes to talent agencies, casting calls, and actual television and film sets. Produced by Connell Creations, the film has been featured in 24 film festivals.xxvi and won six awards including Best Documentary (three festivals), Best International Documentary, Audience Award, and Final Cut Award.xxvii
Security Type: Revenue Participation Rights
Round Size: Min: $50,000 Max: $275,000
Interest Rate: Adjusted gross proceeds sharing agreement which provides the investors (along with any others who purchase revenue participation rights in this offering, future offerings, or previous offerings) 100% of the Company’s adjusted gross proceeds up to the repayment amount of 115% of their investment, and 50% of any remaining adjusted gross proceeds thereafter.
The Financing Agreement provides that Adjusted Gross Proceeds (as defined below) will be allocated as follows:
- First, one hundred percent (100%) of Adjusted Gross Proceeds shall be paid to the Purchasers and the Additional Equity Financiers on a pro rata (based on the ratio that their respective financing contributions bears to the aggregate of the Purchasers’ financing contributions and the Additional Equity Funds) and pari passu basis until such time, if ever, as the Purchasers have received an amount equal to one hundred fifteen percent (115%) of the Purchasers’ financing contributions and the Additional Equity Financiers have received an amount equal to one hundred fifteen percent (115%) of the Additional Equity Funds; and
- Following such time, if ever, as the Purchasers have recouped an amount equal to one hundred fifteen percent (115%) of the Purchasers’ financing contributions and the Additional Equity Financiers have recouped an amount equal to one hundred fifteen percent (115%) of the Additional Equity Funds, then any remaining Adjusted Gross Proceeds shall be referred to as “Net Proceeds”, and shall be paid as follows:
- fifty percent (50%) to Producer (“Producer’s Net Proceeds”); and
- fifty percent (50%) to the Purchasers and the Additional Equity Financiers on a pro rata (based on the ratio that their respective financing contributions bears to the aggregate of the Purchasers’ financing contributions, the Additional Equity Funds and the Filmmaker Funds (as defined below)) and pari passu basis.
- All third-party participations in Net Proceeds (other than those payable to Additional Financiers) shall be borne out of Producer’s share of Net Proceeds.
For purposes of the Financing Agreement, “Gross Proceeds” means any and all amounts, including nonrefundable advances, received by the Company from the exploitation of the Picture and all elements thereof and all rights therein, in any and all manner and media derived from distribution of the Picture, now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, and throughout the length of the copyright to the Picture. The following amounts are not included in Gross Proceeds:
- The costs of deliverables paid by a distributor of the Picture
- Any amounts used to fund production costs of the Picture
- Any advance received from a record company in connection with a soundtrack album for the Picture shall be included in Gross Proceeds only to the extent that such advance is not used to pay music or other production costs; and
- Tax credits or other tax incentives received in connection with the production of the Picture shall be included in Gross Proceeds only to the extent not used to repay financiers providing financing secured by such tax credits or incentives or used to directly fund production costs of the Picture.
The Financing Agreement defines “Adjusted Gross Proceeds” as Gross Proceeds remaining after deduction of the following:
- Third party sales agent and producer representative fees and expenses;
- Actual, third party, out of pocket amounts incurred by or on behalf of Producer in connection with the sale, marketing, licensing, delivery, distribution and/or exploitation of the Picture;
- Ongoing third party accounting costs and expenses actually incurred by or on behalf of Producer in connection with the processing of payments to profit participants (including, without limitation, collection agent fees and expenses), and audit costs;
- Actual, third party, out of pocket expenses incurred by or on behalf of Producer in connection with the ongoing ownership of the Picture (e.g., costs incurred in connection with the preservation and storage of negatives and master prints of the Picture and any expenses incurred in connection with the copyrighting of the Picture);
- Actual, third party, out of pocket expenses incurred in connection with the existence and management of Producer (e.g., taxes, accounting fees, filing fees, etc.);
- Any residual and/or pension, health and welfare payments paid to guilds or guild members in accordance with the agreements between Producer and the applicable guild with respect to the Picture (to the extent not assumed by the distributor(s) of the Picture);
- Any amounts required to be withheld by law;
- Payments pursuant to music licensing “step” deals which require additional payments based on the performance of the Picture;
- Any actual, third party, out of pocket costs incurred by or on behalf of Producer or its affiliates in connection with enforcement of Producer’s rights in the Picture, including, without limitation, actual, direct, out-of-pocket accounting, legal and auditor fees and expenses;
- Any amounts used to repay loans received in connection with the production of the Picture;
- Any deferred compensation and bonuses (e.g., box office bonuses, award bonuses) or production costs payable to parties rendering services in connection with the Picture (to the extent not assumed by the distributor(s) of the Picture);
- Any amounts paid to the completion guarantor of the Picture (if any) in repayment of sums advanced by such completion guarantor; and
- Any reasonable reserve amounts, as determined by Producer in its good faith business judgment, required to cover anticipated future costs or liabilities, provided that such reserve amounts shall be liquidated every twelve (12) months.
The Company does not make any representation or warranty in the Financing Agreement as to the amount of Gross Proceeds, if any, the Company will receive from the exploitation of the Picture.