After the recent court ruling requiring VidAngel to take down their custom-edited movies, VidAngel announced their first theatrical film release.
Provo-based company VidAngel allows the user to filter movies to customize the kind of content they would like to watch. Neil Harmon and his brothers started the company to filter content for their own families. Through 2013 and 2016, they conducted research to see how the general public feels about filtering movies.
“We first did some research to see if we were not alone," Harmon said. "We found about half of American homes at the time would be interested in a filtering service. More recently we did a 3rd party scientific study, with research out of L.A., and they found a larger number, not just half of parents but 40% of all Americans would be interested in a filtering service.”
Harmon said that the service is a way to support not only families but also artists. He believes that communicating about content is needed in the film industry.
“We’ve always wanted to build a great filtering service that people love to use," Harmon said. "And after we get large enough to take that filtering data and have that data influence artists to create more good content. What we are doing is creating a feedback loop for directors and artists create what they want. And the users use it how they want, but then the user data goes back to the director, so that they can make better decisions later on the content they make.”
While the filtering service is on hold while the company is in court, VidAngel has been supporting family friendly content in other ways. They are expanding their services by backing good content and distributing the motion pictures they love including comedy series and full-length movies.
“We have launched Dry Bar Comedy," Harmon said. "We have had 17 shows from people flying in from all over the country to do family friendly stand-up routines. We have captured the shows on high quality video and we will be publishing those out on VidAngel. We also just launched our very first theatrical release Tim Timmerman: Hope of America, which is a high school comedy. It’s based of the experiences of an Orem High student body president. It’s really funny.”
VidAngel’s new film recently had a 94% review on Rotten Tomatoes and after successful box office sales in Utah, is planning on being released throughout the rest of the U.S..