All three of today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs own their own production companies (Sean Horlor & Steve Adams founded Steamy Window Productions in 2011 and Sean Cox founded Pink Light Pictures in 2010), and have collectively pooled their creative and business talents to secure financing and distribution for ‘The Mill and the Mountain’. What was the inspiration behind their idea? Read on to find out…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
The Mill and the Mountain is a feature-length, mystery thriller inspired by a 2011 murder case on Canada’s most infamous stretch of highway: Northern British Columbia’s ‘Highway of Tears’. Our film is currently part of the CineCoup Film Accelerator, which uses a tech-industry, accelerator model to help emerging filmmakers develop, market, and finance their projects. Movie fans will help decide who qualifies for a $1M production budget and 2014 release in Cineplex theatres.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
To follow the tech analogy above. CineCoup treats its filmmakers like tech entrepreneurs. Our filmmaking trio is a start-up. CineCoup is giving us an international marketing platform to grow our audience and test our work. We are using sweat equity and leveraging our networks to make sure our film is the kind of film that will sell tickets in theatres across Canada and internationally abroad.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Filmmaking in Canada often feels like a starving-artists-only kind of club. The expectation that filmmakers here shouldn’t expect to profit from their work is insane. We joined CineCoup because it speaks to both the artist and the entrepreneur in each of us. The ability to interact with film fans across the world in real-time about our work is pretty special too. The most challenging part is running a second business on top of our production work. Who needs sleep, right?
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Even though the social selection portion of the accelerator doesn’t complete until June 2013, we’ve already been approached by an indie producer about our project. To paraphrase, he told us: “We love your idea. Stay in touch. We’re watching to see where this goes.” The three of us make a great, collaborative team. We’re already well on our way to getting this film made.
What does success look like to you?
Sold-out movie theatres with our film on the marquee. Or a distribution deal with Netflix. Okay, we secretly want both. Can you blame us?
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Taking the plunge with CineCoup after developing a script for a few years. There’s nothing more rewarding then creating a world on the page and making it come to life on the screen.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
There’s a decision-making analogy that involves picturing yourself holding on to an airplane wing mid-flight as another airplane flies tandem. Conventional wisdom says, “Don’t let go of one wing before you have a good grip on the second plane.” We feel that no safety net forces professionals of all stripes to think creatively and austerely. Our advice is to make a jump and see where life takes you.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to work with great local Vancouver organizations like the Health Initiative for Men and A Loving Spoonful on a variety of projects.
What is Notable to you?
Notable is being able to create collaboratively. Success is best when it’s shared.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
We’re an iPhone collective.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Bourbon cocktails with friends and colleagues.