In the face of violent crime, a peaceful man becomes the hand of well-deserved justice. Through necessary violence, he brings about law and order in the places where cruel men dominate the weak and the vulnerable. He wasn’t always like this. The American was — is — a journalist — a freelancer, a blogger, a nobody. But in the sight of a violent agenda, a woman abducted, a loaded a gun, and no one there to save her, he acts with one single intention: to save her life. But justice served is not always justice upheld. Her life costs three men theirs — four if you count the blood on The American’s hands and the vigilante mindset that begins to stain his perspective on good versus evil. An idea takes hold. In a single day, he did more good for the world than he ever had, and all he had to do was aim and pull the trigger. All of his journalistic pursuits — all of the crimes he dreamed of reporting and misdeeds he yearned to reveal — would never make such a profound impact on the world as a single bullet had. He knows this to be true. He needs it to be true. He assures himself he did something good. And it is with that silent affirmation that he embarks on an emboldened journey through the world’s most unforgiving cities to dole out justice to those who deserve to die.
The American is a thrilling psychological adventure of an ordinary man transformed, who sets out to change the world in the best way he knows how: by ridding the world of vicious men who prey on the defenseless. He’s not a soldier. He’s not an intelligence agent. He has no combat training. Yet, he learns to kill, and he is surprisingly good at it. The American is an “unofficial” travel writer for The Washington Post. He’s paid to travel the world, meet unique people, and sell the traveler’s lifestyle. But this line of work is dull and meaningless. Defeating evil, on the other hand, that is where he discovers his purpose in life; that is what motivates him to get out of bed each day…that and his travel companion, the woman whose life he saved, the women he is falling in love with. The cities she travels to for work are the cities he travels to, as well. They spend their days together, learning, enjoying, loving. And at night, he does what needs to be done…for the greater good.
As his body count of pimps, drug dealers, rapists, gang members, murderers, extortionists, and corrupt government officials rises, so does the reputation of The American. His shadowy alter-ego becomes the target of men just like him — men dedicated to justice. The American becomes the hunted and all the while, the love of his life sits unknowingly on the brink of collateral damage.
Main Characters & Audience Psychology
Sam, the protagonist, is, on the surface, a normal person. He works as a travel blogger for The Washington Post. However, when he is put in a life or death situation, he acts with uncanny and skilled brutality to save the life of an innocent woman. His heroism in the face of danger creates the basis for his relationship with Sarah, who works with a nonprofit that travels to third world countries to treat sick and malnourished patients.
Mixed amongst layers of action, suspense, and violence is Sam and Sarah’s love story. Their romance drives the narrative and decides the locations where Sam travels to enact his vigilante justice. After their fateful meeting in Nicaragua, they stay in contact. When Sarah writes to Sam, she shares a list of the third-world countries she will be traveling to for work. Sam uses these destinations in a project pitch to his boss at The Washington Post. His idea, a travel blog about beautiful places in third-world countries that are worth visiting, get the green light.
Sam travels to the same countries as Sarah and it is in these places that their romance intensifies. However, at that time, Sam is permanently silencing some of the worst people in society. He is acting outside of the law and inadvertently putting Sarah at the same risk he saved her from months earlier in Nicaragua. As the pattern of his crimes becomes apparent, and government agencies set out to capture him, he and Sarah’s love affair takes an unexpected turn.
The romantic character dynamic between Sam and Sarah is something that audiences are familiar with and will, therefore, be receptive to. Also, many people dream of a super-hero personality — someone who is willing to go to the extreme to enact justice to those who deserve it. Popular culture romanticizes the vigilante personality, so long as it is justified, which Sam’s is. The male audience will, therefore, be able to project their fantasies onto Sam’s behavior, assuring themselves that they too would be able and willing to dole out similar doses of justice, thus, making adult males our primary demographic. Similarly, the stoic damsel in distress personality of Sarah, who is a capable and intelligent woman thrown into an extraordinary circumstance will appeal to the female demographic. A knight in shining armor, though cliche, is obvious here and, historically, has appealed to both male and female audiences. Their unique bond and the circumstances that unite them will, ultimately, attract a swath of viewers across age groups, giving The American added appeal in the market.
The American is a C&I Studios original series. C&I Studios is a multimedia film and television series production company that conceptualizes and writes original concepts. C&I Studios sources literary property, assemble teams and finances to produce, finalize, and distribute original productions and packages multimedia projects for the mass market. C&I Studios houses a team of creative visionaries determined to bring new concepts to life. We only use the highest quality RED Digital Cinema Cameras on the market and house a collection of advanced editing software, rendering programs, motion animation software, and audio technologies to ensure each project exceeds its potential. Together, we imagine and produce emotive narratives that change perspectives and form new audience niches within the area of multimedia consumption.
According to a 2018 survey by Statista on the most popular movie genres among adults in the United States, drama, adventure, and action rank among the top five most-watched genres for both men and women. The romantic undertones, worldly scenery and thrilling visual elements in The American unite these top genres into a memorable cinematic adventure that will appeal to both dedicated movie-goers and those interested in simply watching an exciting film. With the release of The American on the most popular movie streaming websites, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, we will reach high-valued viewership that will generate profits month over month. We also expect to see an increase in revenue as the film enters valued markets abroad and circles back to audiences in the U.S.
With that said, The American will first premiere in niche movie theaters across the U.S., especially in the markets where C&I Studios is most active. Those being: Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., and Miami. If the budget allows for an in-person theater run in these locations, then we can expect higher numbers of viewership on streaming platforms, as well as increased awareness for upcoming C&I Studios original productions. Theatre showings will reinforce C&I Studios’ reputation in the industry and yield increased reach among both viewers and investors, and is, therefore, an avenue worth pursuing.
Additionally, the story-arch of The American presents an opportunity for media spinoffs in the form of a film sequel or television series. Following the success of the featured film, it is expected that a spinoff will also yield profitable results, as consumers are interested in long-tail storytelling, especially in the form of film sequels and television series. Furthermore, the advent of a spinoff presents opportunities for additional revenue streams from television networks whose audiences expect exciting new content, such as this, and are therefore inclined to pursue licensing opportunities.
A few statistics measuring the viewership number for films in the same genre as The American:
- Drama: 89% female/80% male; 2nd most popular movie genre
- Adventure: 89% female/90% male; 3rd most popular movie genre
- Action: 86% female/90% male; 4th most popular movie genre
Marketing & Distribution Plan
The American will premiere in select theaters in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., and Miami. Following the theatre run, The American will be available on Amazon with opportunities for distribution on other popular streaming networks, such as Netflix, iTunes, and Hulu. Our goal is for The American to be adopted into a film sequel or television series spinoff for added reach in the market.
To achieve this, a professional PR agency based in Los Angeles will promote The American months prior to its theatre debut and during the first months of its appearance on Amazon Prime Video. Their mission is to infiltrate targeted demographics in key U.S. cities to increase viewership month over month. This PR initiative will guarantee consistent streaming numbers and provide an avenue for enlisting other video streaming providers, as well as network television.
In conjunction with The American’s PR strategy, it will be a comprehensive digital marketing strategy aimed at reaching the largest segments of viewers who prioritize this genre in their viewing habits. C&I Studios will lead east coast marking efforts, tapping into three major markets: Miami, New York City, and Washington, D.C. These landscapes allow for grassroots efforts and local showings to build audience loyalty and will, therefore, be pivotal in extending our reach. The west coast marketing will focus predominantly on Los Angeles and greater California.
We will create a branded website with social media for The American to give passionate viewers a place to share their thoughts and engage in the film. The film’s website will include deleted scenes, interviews with the director and cast, and behind the scenes footage to incentivize website traffic and appeal to a larger consumer group — those who watch films for enjoyment and those who create films.
Once the initial buzz dies down, we will entertain the idea of releasing The American for free on Amazon Prime for at most a week. This will encourage a surge in downloads, which will keep The American at the top of Amazon search results, ultimately, allowing for a second wave of heightened streaming revenue, as well as providing an easy segue into markets abroad.
Return on Investment
Estimated Year One Gross Revenue — $$$$
Estimated Year Two Gross Revenue — $$$$
Estimated Year Three Gross Revenue — $$$$
The American has additional sponsorship opportunities during production. C&I Studios will reach out to wardrobe sponsors who’d like to feature their clothing lines in the film; as well as resorts and restaurants in the countries we will be traveling. Given the main character’s position as a travel writer, there is an opportunity to acquire locations and permits at a discounted rate with the promise of featuring these establishments in the film. Furthermore, the endorsement of a popular news publication, such as The Washington Post, will be pursued to properly situate the film in a real-world setting. Moreover, we will enlist a reputable nonprofit organization, which will make hiring extras and talent more affordable, if not free of charge.