At The New York Times‘ DealBook Summit in New York City on Wednesday, Affleck, 50, said that their new company Artists Equity will strive to create commercially popular films that audiences will still “remember 20 years later,” according to Deadline.
The two-time Academy Award winner said during a question and answer session at the event that he sees “no difference between commercial and quality” when it comes to filmmaking and pointed to Netflix releasing such a large quantity of movies as “an impossible job.”
“If you ask [Netflix co-CEO] Reed Hastings… he’d say, ‘Hey, we went for quantity to establish a footprint,’ ” Affleck said during the discussion, according to Variety.
“I’m sure there’s wisdom in that and I’m sure they had a great strategy, but I would have said, ‘How are we going to make 50 great movies? How is that possible?’ There’s no committee big enough,” he added. “There aren’t enough — you just can’t do it.”
Affleck continued on to say that movie production is “a thing that requires attention and dedication and work and resists the assembly line process.”
“[Netflix head of original film production] Scott Stuber is a really talented, smart guy who I really like… but it’s an impossible job,” the Argo director noted of Netflix’s volume of releases.
“There’s bigger audience for action movies than there is for small dramas. I get that,” Affleck added during the conversation. “Certain genres play more broadly and you can’t not be mindful of that. But let’s do a good one, let’s surprise the audience, let’s make them care about it.”
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Affleck and Damon, who burst onto the Hollywood scene together by cowriting and costarring in 1997’s Good Will Hunting, announced on Nov. 21 that they started Artists Equity with RedBird Capital Partners.
Affleck will be CEO of the Los Angeles–based company, while Damon, 52, will serve as chief creative officer. Michael Joe, the former COO of STX Films and former executive vice president of Universal Pictures, will be chief operating officer.
Affleck said in a press release, “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 added. “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.”