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By Hammad Zaidi | October 9, 2012

Greetings from sunny southern France! That’s right; I’m back in Cannes for one of my three annual pilgrimages to heaven on earth. This time I’m here for MIPCOM, the world’s premiere entertainment technology/television market. Since MIPCOM just started yesterday, I’ll focus next week’s article on emerging trends and patterns that I’m witnessing here.

Today’s I’m sharing my recent interview with Andrew Matlock, the CEO and creative director for “Industry Corporation.”  Last week’s article gave you an overview of “Industry,” so this week Andrew Matlock is going to describe his company in his own words. Andrew is actually here in Cannes with me, because we’re strategizing the rollout of our collaborations together over the next three to five years. Thus, my “interview” with Andrew Matlock encompasses twenty hours of in-depth discussions from the Nice Airport, to Cannes, to our excursion down the long, winding road to Saint Tropez and back.

Today’s Intention:  
My intent today is to familiarize you with “Industry,” because they are the creators of some pretty intense “game-changing,” inventions that are revolutionizing the gaming industry (which is why I know they’re about to become a household name). Furthermore, they crave discovering new talent, so look in the mirror, because the person you see staring back at you could be the next collaborator that “Industry Corporation,” takes on!

Pre-Interview Bullet-Points:

  • Origination
    “Industry Corporation,” was incorporated in 2008, but their fulltime operation only began about this time last year in 2011.
  •  Location
    “Industry,” is located in Kitchener, Ontario, which is the “Silicon Valley of the North.” Not only is Kitchener the Silicon Valley’s largest collaborator, but they’re also their largest competitor. With over 800 technology-intensive companies, Kitchener is home to a large number of Canada’s Billionaires.
  • Position
    “Industry” is the second largest entertainment company of the “Kitchener 800,” with a staff of 15 people. Only EA Games, (Entertainment Arts) is larger with about 20 employees.
  • Destination – Pole Position!
    To secure the “pole position” as the premiere multi-discipline entertainment company, as they continue to mushroom their following divisions: Games, Production (Film, TV, Webisodes), Music, Talent, and For Hire Creations.

Now you know what “Industry” does and where they’re headed, so let’s dive into my interview with Andrew Matlock…

Your video games are what your company is known for, so tell me about the kinds of games you create.
We’ve worked on X-Box, we’ve done web games, and we’re now focusing on mobile games. Our last mobile game, “Zip Zap,” took the number one spot in Western Canada for free action and arcade games.

Wow. Congratulations.
Yeah, Thank You. We’ve got about ten more games coming out before the end of the year to the app stores and we support IOS and Android. Our average development time per game now is something crazy like two to four weeks, so it’s super short.

That is short. Are there any other games headed our way?
Yes. On the game side, we’re also creating a whole bunch of games for a company called Kidzpace. What Kidzpace does is they preload these games into touch screens that are like big tablets, and those touch screens go into the walls and onto the tables of major quick serve restaurants around the world. I won’t say whom, because I’m not supposed to, but they go into major fast food chains, they go into hospitals, doctors’ offices and major fitness clubs. We’re also the primary content provider for them as well.

So, in a sense, your company serves as a distributor.
Exactly, yes. So, we are creating a distribution system. We’re creating a lot of cross-promotions, so we are creating mobile websites and apps that cross-promote the games themselves.

Very cool. So, tell me about Industry Coins.
With Industry Coins, we’ve created a virtual currency, which lets people to move their money around between games and allows them to buy upgrades within those games.

You’re making real money by creating virtual money?
So, we’ve monetized every single way. We’ve monetized through in-app purchases, through downloads, through advertising banner ads and through virtual currency… that’s the game side of things.

Tell me about Industry For Hire.
What that department does is it takes a very broad and unique skillset in talent in basically creating anything imaginable for our clients. We’ve done apps, websites and video games. Because we’re so uniquely placed wit our knowledge, we’re able to cater to a lot of people who want a lot of different things. It’s funny that we have never had two clients ask for the same thing. Every time it’s a different platform and a new technology, and sometimes we haven’t even done it ourselves, but we can get anything done.

What about your talent representation side?
From the games and the client sides, we were licensing a lot of music for our soundtracks, so that introduced us to different artists. We realized that one of them didn’t have strong business sensibility to their operation, yet they had great assets. So, we decided to take them into our talent roster, so we created the Industry talent department, which is now representing three different parties; a band, a children’s IP in Europe and an actress. Basically, because we’re so uniquely situated between all these different people in the entertainment industry, from film, to music, to games, we thought we may as well promote the talent as much as we can and help advance their careers as we also gain the assets and put them in our productions.

You represent three people right now. Are you looking to expand that division as well?
It definitely is the niche of the company right now, and I do want to grow it into it’s own and become a self sustaining part of the business that we can split off and potentially put into its own office one day.

So, you’re going to nurture talent and represent it too?
Yeah. The funny thing is, that most talent agencies started as talent agencies where they have no content side to them. We started as a content creation company in games and in music, and because of that, we approach the talent business from the content creation side. We are in the same chair as the producers who are hiring our groups and our parties, for their own productions. Also, we’re creating actual content for the people we represent. We’re creating games and apps for all our represented brands. So, we’re creating an app for the band, we’re creating an app for “Lard Wants World Peace,” (which is the European Children’s IP), and I’m sure we’ll create an app for the actress soon.

With all the things you’re doing, what, if anything, could you offer an independent filmmaker?
I represent writers, I represent music that I could put into their production, any kind of soundtrack that they want I can get for them. Also, through our client department, we can create any app or game if they want to promote parallel media to their release.

How do you see your company melting into the indie film world, or would you rather play in the studio world?
Well, like you can probably tell from this interview so far, we love doing everything we possibly can. There’s no limit to whom we’ll work with or why we’ll work with them. It can be any facet of the business and for any reason, as long as it makes sense for both parties and it’s completely ethical and completely fun, we’ll dive in head first.

Last question. Do you have any parting words of advice for the independent filmmakers that are embarking into their budding careers?
Good question. Let me think here for a second….I would say that if it’s a true calling and your passionate about it, and if you know your life is going to be spent in your craft, then don’t stop at any crossroads or rejection or obstacle, because there’s going to be a lot that come up. But, that’s just a natural barrier of entry to working in this business. So, if you’re the real deal and you are going to make it, then you are not going to let anything stop you. Get yourself out there, build bridges, be charismatic, don’t do anything unethical, and don’t do anything that would make people not want to work with you. Just be the best you can be and don’t give up.

Okay, fellow filmmakers. That concludes this 126th edition of “Going Bionic.” I thank you once more for lending me your talented, vision-driven eyes, and I’d be honored to borrow them again next Tuesday when I’m back on American soil!

I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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