We had the good fortune of connecting with Jan Lucanus and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jan, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Imagine a social network where everything you post is part of your favorite movie or show. ReelwUrld™ is building that future. One of the biggest roadblocks to making change happen quickly is getting everyone to work on one thing together. ReelwUrld is building a platform and processes for collective storytelling to have a global impact.
ReelwUrld is creating a new form of filmmaking by merging the best aspects of both filmmaking and social media into a platform that prioritizes authentic story and collective action. My favorite part of being a filmmaker are the memories made while creating with like-minded people. My favorite part of social media is sharing those memories. I believe the evolution of both filmmaking and social media prioritizes a collective story that everyone can participate in and share.
I’m consistently inspired by the power of the alter-ego, a mechanic used by the world’s top athletes and performers. ReelwUrld helps the audience build alter-egos to help them see themselves as they wish to be seen, and share that journey with the world. The ripple effects of the alter-ego are immense. There’s science behind the value these processes can add to our lives. ReelwUrld allows people to grow both in and out of character, all contained within the package of an entertaining experience. I’ve seen massive evolution in the cast members of our first show produced with the crowd, Justice For Hire.
For the more seasoned filmmaker, writer, or actor, we offer an alternative to the Hollywood system. Rather than waiting to be chosen, you choose yourself, share your creativity with a community, and get instant feedback. We’re providing an ecosystem that fosters franchise-style, cinematic universe storytelling, complete with a path to monetize your work.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
ReelwUrld is the world’s 1st social filmmaking studio. We believe that the future of film, TV, and commercials is social, and eventually all content will be produced with community creative participation. We plan to be the leading studio in the coming era of global community production.
For me personally, ReelwUrld represents my life’s work. I grew up inside Marvel. My father was a comic book critic and writer with former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter as his mentor. I watched artists and writers deal with thousands of characters in a single story world and watched my father struggle to have his creative contribution published at Marvel. That was painful as a kid. It made me angry, but it planted the seed for ReelwUrld’s emphasis on community storytelling. Anyone and everyone’s perspective can be added to a story as long as the guidance of the story is handled properly. That’s big thinking, and simplifying the big ideas so that both fans and brands can collaborate and benefit in a meaningful way from content creation is what ReelwUrld is doing.
If Marvel was starting today, it would be built on phones, we’d all be the writers and stars of the stories, and the stories would all be made on video. That’s where culture is, but most of Hollywood and the startup tech world doesn’t know that, which has been our advantage and challenge. Even though we went through incubators and accelerators at UCLA Anderson, NYU Tisch, Stern, and Steinhardt, VentureOut and more, we struggled to find investors. We pulled together enough cash to do the basics, and fortunately that was enough to build momentum with our community on our first show, Justice For Hire. Then we went viral on TikTok and all the sudden had millions of eyeballs and more opportunities coming to us.
Now, we just launched our first equity crowdfunding campaign for ReelwUrld on WeFunder (wefunder.com/reelwurld). Anyone can invest and own a piece of our studio and share in the financial success of the company. This is a major part of the message we want to spread in the world: community ownership, community success, community joy.
Imagine this: take that feeling of seeing Avengers: Endgame in theaters (when all the heroes assemble around Captain America holding Thor’s hammer) and multiply it by the added excitement you’d feel if you and your friends were in that scene alongside the other characters. That’s our vision. The “U” in ReelwUrld is about you and all of us.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m vegetarian, I don’t drink, and I do a ton of martial arts daily, so any close friend will get the very special Jan LA experience consisting of key restaurants in great neighborhoods and some strong workouts. Here’s a list of spots:
– Merkato in Little Ethiopia
– Tian’s Dim Sum Restaurant, Chinatown
– Lotus Vegan, North Hollywood
– Gokoku Ramen, Studio City
– Honest Vegetarian Restaurant, Artesia
– Al Layali, West Hollywood
– Astro Burger, West Hollywood
– In & Out, any location (just because)
– Mashtie Malone’s Ice Cream, La Brea
– Salt & Straw, Studio City
– Sliders Bakery & Ice Cream Factory, Burbank
– Safron & Rose Ice Cream, Westwood
– Mitsuru Cafe (for red bean buns), Little Tokyo
– Shaolin American Self Defense Academy, North Hollywood
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to the entire Justice For Hire community, from our production team like cinematographer Somnang Vann, sound designer Roger Mendoza, and composer Angelspit who share their world-class skills with sage-like humility (Zoog at Angelspit is actually the reason this interview is happening), to the millions of viewers and thousands of followers and cast members we have worldwide that are living proof that the future of the film & TV industries are the fans themselves. I’d also like to shoutout my team at ReelwUrld, including my cofounders Andra Roxana Stanciu and Autumn Noel Kelly, and my Tai Chi buddy and general counsel Mark Hiraide, with whom I’ve been solidifying these new formulas merging film and technology to make Justice For Hire and more projects grow organically with communities. These people believed in me and this vision when studio executives were too slow to serve the rapidly changing needs of our culture. They’ve empowered me to serve the way I know best. My deepest gratitude to them all.
Other: Invest in ReelwUrld – wefunder.com/reelwurld Join the “Justice For Hire” Cast – JusticeFor.Hire.app Jan’s personal website – JanLucanus.com