When you think about binge-worthy TV series, your mind might jump to “Game of Thrones,” “Ted Lasso,” or other popular shows. However, if you’ve been paying attention to “The Chosen,” the multi-season series based on the life of Jesus Christ, then you already understand that there’s a new kind of narrative in town. And it’s one that goes beyond entertainment and delves into the heart of human experiences and spiritual connections.
Behind the scenes of this remarkable series is Derral Eves, a visionary producer who has not only brought captivating stories to the screen but has also unlocked the secrets of funding, mentorship, and creating a lasting impact. From the challenges of raising funds to the power of modern distribution models, Eves’ experiences offer invaluable lessons for anyone striving to take their ventures to the next level.
Whether you’re seeking to understand the dynamics of fundraising, the significance of genuine storytelling, or the advantages of mentorship, the story of “The Chosen” can inspire and empower you on your journey. Read on to explore how Eves’ perspectives and approaches can guide small business owners on a path to success.
Eves’ involvement in “The Chosen” traces back to a serendipitous encounter with a short film crafted by Dallas Jenkins, the series creator. The film showcased the Nativity from the perspective of shepherds, offering a unique lens on a familiar tale — and ultimately inspiring Eves to pursue a partnership with Jenkins that would redefine TV history. This collaboration illuminated the potential for a larger project, centered on Jesus’ impact on various lives.
However, one daunting challenge stood before them: funding. The prospect of creating a high-quality show centered on Jesus was met with doubt and skepticism. People believed the concept had been exhausted, yet the partners’ determination led to a pioneering crowdfunding campaign, a Reg A offering, which allowed people to invest in the series and become genuine partners.
This approach went beyond traditional crowdfunding; it built a community invested in the show’s success. Derral shares how the campaign exceeded expectations, attracting investors who resonated with the vision, and before they knew it, they had shattered crowdfunding records for film and television.
As you would expect with any project of this scale, the team encountered its share of challenges along the way, one of them being distribution — a crucial bridge that connects content creators to audiences. The traditional model involves finding not just financial backers but also partners who will ensure the content reaches viewers’ screens. Typically, major networks like NBC would provide funding and then handle distribution, ensuring that the project gains exposure.
For “The Chosen,” however, the landscape was vastly different. The gap between creation and audience connection was palpable — a situation he likened to waking up in a world where the project’s existence was known only to a select few.
To bridge this gap, the team explored multiple avenues, taking an innovative approach to distribution. The first step was to release the series on DVD — a seemingly old-school strategy that resonated with a broad demographic. This choice tapped into an audience that still valued physical media, and it proved highly successful, positioning “The Chosen” as a top-selling DVD globally.
Yet, as digital media evolved, embracing new media was imperative. The team launched an app, providing a digital platform that allowed viewers to access the show at their convenience.
As “The Chosen” continued to gather momentum, opportunities to collaborate with established streaming services like Peacock, Amazon, and Netflix emerged. Negotiating these deals marked an essential milestone, as it expanded the series’ reach to broader audiences.
The success of “The Chosen” transcends mere numbers — it’s the impact on lives that matters. Eves notes the influx of messages from individuals whose skepticism transformed into belief, even inspiring non-believers to undergo baptisms.
As Eves’ journey with “The Chosen” unfolded, he began to broaden his impact even further via new business pursuits. His commitment to coaching others through digital content creation inspired a 12-week mentoring program, Channel Jumpstart. This initiative empowers aspiring content creators to find their niche, refine their message, and navigate the complex world of YouTube.
As a seasoned digital strategist, Eves emphasizes that identifying the most suitable medium for content dissemination is vital. Projects differ in nature, audience, and objectives, which means selecting the right platform demands careful consideration.
While traditional distribution channels offer credibility and reach, digital media like YouTube offer a direct avenue to niche audiences. It leverages algorithms to push content to those most likely to engage with it.
The challenges of funding and distribution that “The Chosen” encountered are reflective of the uphill battles many innovative projects face. However, Eves’ strategic thinking and willingness to explore unconventional avenues paid off, showcasing how diverse distribution platforms, such as DVD sales and online streaming, can serve as essential building blocks for wider reach. His insights into harnessing the power of social media, particularly YouTube, should be in every modern creator’s toolkit for audience engagement and growth.
As small business owners strive to elevate their ventures, the journey of “The Chosen” offers valuable lessons. Eves’ unrelenting pursuit of his vision, coupled with adaptability in navigating evolving digital media, is a testament to the potential of passion and resilience. Beyond the scope of entertainment, the series exemplifies how purpose-driven endeavors can ignite smash hits, shaping lives and perceptions along the way.
Ramon is an in-demand small business expert, who has started 5 companies and sold 3 companies. He’s the publisher of ZoneofGenius.com and BWCDaly.com. Ramon is a motivational keynote speaker and event host. Check out his latest book, “Celebrity CEO”, all about personal branding for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Get help from Ramon for your business at CelebrityCEO.com/coaching . Learn more about Ramon at RamonRay.com