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Why Apple is investing billions into independent NYC film studio A24

Having announced a 1 billion dollar budget to produce original video content, Apple has just penned a major deal with the NYC-based independent production company, A24.

While there is a lot of mystique around the production company, having only launched in 2012, what is clear, however, is that A24 has an eye for discovering original narratives that are delivered through unique modes of storytelling.

With the film market flooded by films coming out of the Marvel Universe and reboots of decades-old film classics, the projects of A24 have stood out over the past few years and subsequently, the company has increasingly made a name for itself.

The indie production company has produced some major hits to audiences, including the Academy Award Winning film for Best Picture, Moonlight. Other major successes include Spring Breakers, Ex-Machina, Room, The Disaster Artist, The Lobster, American Honey, A Ghost Story, The Florida Project, Lady Bird, Hereditary, Eighth Grade and finally, Mid 90’s.

Having experience working for major film production companies, the founders of A24 David Fenkel, John Hodges, and Daniel Katz, saw a gap in the film market.

Each of the founders recognized the viability in independent filmmaking and identified the presence of an audience whose mindset is more steeped in critical thinking, who desire content that is more challenging and requires more active spectatorship.

A24 aren’t interested in a cookie cutter approach. In fact, their mission is antithetical to this. It may be odd to say, but A24 simply has a gift and talent for finding and distributing cool films.

A24 has established itself as the film industry’s most innovative company; not scared to take risks. The films are often highly stylized and breakdown genre boundaries and conventions. Some films offer a gritty and raw aesthetic, while others are saturated in vibrant color; an aesthetic that marshalls a demographic who are accustomed to seeing life through Instagram filters.

With the company named after an Italian highway, AutoStrada 24,  the founders of the indie production company aren’t interested in following a pre-existing trajectory or route for film production and distribution. Instead, they have and continue to create a new path for themselves — a niche route — a trajectory for filmmakers to share their work and stories.

A24 has attracted big-names directors such as Sofia Coppola and Denis Villeneuve, and at the same time, has transformed unknown filmmakers into Oscar-nominated directors. They have offered an important platform to first-time directors, filmmakers of color and women directors and are initiatives that are indicative of the A24’s awareness of the institutional barriers that are characteristic of Hollywood.

The deal with A24 follows an earlier announcement of Apple ordering an untitled morning-show television drama. The cast includes big-name stars, Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, and Reese Witherspoon.

The tech-giant has stepped up its game in providing original video content. There is a revival of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories is in the works, along with a television series inspired by the life of NBA superstar Kevin Durant.

In addition, Apple has signed a multi-year deal with Oprah Winfrey who will oversee the production of movies, TV shows, books, applications, and other content for the company.

Although not many details have been released on the deal, what we do know is that the deal is a “multi-year partnership.” It is also unknown whether Apple will release its video content via iTunes.

With rumors circulating that Apple will be creating its own streaming service sometime next year, following the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and more recently Disney, we can expect the tech giants video content will be distributed on its own streaming service.