Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to launch production company: 'Our goal is to build a creator-focused studio'
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are 'looking forward to working together to empower the current and future creative minds in the entertainment industry'
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Old friends and 'Good Will Hunting' stars, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are back in business with an announcement on Sunday, November 21, that they are going to start a production company: Artists Equity with RedBird Capital Partners, together. Based in Los Angeles, Affleck, 50, will be CEO, while Damon, 52, will serve as a chief creative officer. Michael Joe, the former COO of STX Films and former executive vice president of Universal Pictures, will be the chief operating officer.
In a press release, Affleck said, "Artists Equity was conceived from Matt's and my longtime passion for the art of storytelling and our shared desire to help creators deliver on their vision, as we have been fortunate to do throughout our careers. The entertainment industry is defined by great partnerships — writers, directors, producers, crew, actors — and throughout my career I have learned that collaboration is what drives success." He continued, "Our goal with Artists Equity is to build a creator-focused studio that can optimize the production process with shared participation in the commercial success of projects."
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Affleck added that he and Damon are "looking forward to working together to empower the current and future creative minds in the entertainment industry." Damon said in a statement, "Historically, the success of a film was based on its box office performance. Now, with the rise of streaming, the business behind filmmaking has intrinsically changed. However, Ben and I know that the power will continue to be in the hands of the creators, no matter which direction the industry evolves." "Artists Equity enables these visionaries to take ownership of their creative power, providing a platform for both established and emerging filmmakers to streamline the development of their content," he continued in the press release, as per People.
Affleck and Damon won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar back in 1998 for writing 'Good Will Hunting' together, the film that gave them stardom and fame as they became household names. In an interview with Parade in 2007, Affleck first met Damon in the early 1980s when they were 8 and 10. The two lived two blocks away from each other in Cambridge, Massachusetts, loved baseball and acting, and went on to attend Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school.
Their friendship spans 40 years and once, “When we were teenagers like Matt was 16 and I was 14, we’d go together down to New YorkCity [to audition for jobs],” Ben said. “We’d take the train. Or sometimes we’d even take the airplane, back when there was the Eastern Shuttle or People’s Express. It cost like $20 to flyand you could smoke on the plane. We were smoking like idiots because we thought we were really supposed to be grown-ups. It was pitiful.”