When Austin Newman graduated from Full Sail’s Entertainment Business program in 2012, he knew he’d work in film. “When film found me, my life was forever changed,” he says in his biography. “I fell in love with the idea of creating new worlds and characters, putting the entire production together.”
But since then, his career has blossomed in so many different directions that even his head still spins a little. For starters, he’s the owner of Natural Wonders Productions, a boutique production company specializing in all aspects of the filmmaking process, from production to distribution.
“We started as an independent film company with a team of really adaptive, smart, quick learners and we’re growing together to offer new services and products,” says Austin, who contracts all of his projects out to Full Sail grads.
“We do digital video production and we’re doing animated logos for small businesses and marketing services, but we can also work with companies who have created documentaries and need help developing a distribution plan,” he says. “We put together a strategy, then we make sure all the content we receive is up to spec for each of the digital mediums.”
The whole process, as Austin puts it, involves a tremendous amount of research. “ Because of how quickly the industry is changing, any time we have a client that wants to get unique content out there, we need to create a unique distribution plan. Every film is unique, so there is no cookie cutter plan.”
Austin looks at many avenues to craft those unique distribution plans, including iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu. “Not every film has to be released into an art house theater. We currently have a film that will release on digital video-on-demand initially,” says Austin, referring to the documentary Bluefin on the Line. “This is a great film, I love it. Every time we pick up a film, we fall in love with it.”
The success of Austin’s model has been due, at least in part, to the way his team takes ownership of the project. “We treat every film like it’s our own,” he says.
As if that venture wasn’t enough, Austin’s production company also produces short and feature films (his feature film MMXII will premiere later this year), he’s working with Costa Films as a Media Distribution Manager/Consultant, and he’s a Coordinator/Event Planner with Demand Media Studios.
He wears a lot of hats — consultant, producer, media marketer — but they all revolve around one career cornerstone: “It’s all about being fresh and being at the tip of the sword of the industry,” he says, “because everything we are doing is cutting edge.”