Soon York starts to fall out of love with the music industry. The love dissipated as it became less about creating and more about business transactions.
“I said to myself ‘I made the money. I built reputation. I’ve made the mistakes. So now it’s important for me to look at the future, and take on this Electric Republic thing I always wanted to do.’”
York’s transitions was not abrupt disconnect and reboot. Rather it was a slow and methodical transition over an eight year period. He collects all the necessary data points and devises a calculated entrance strategy into the film industry.
First step was education. Music business is different from film industry. Although he has produced several music videos, music videos production does not directly correlate to film production.
“I had to learn the business itself. You have to understand the politics of the business. How the industry is structured? How the industry buys? There’s more mediums for movies then music. I had to learn.”
He reads several books regarding the industry.
He also marries the theoretical application from the books with practicality by visiting film sets. Many of his colleagues made the transition to the film industry too. He leverages networks, and spends days on sets, which immerses him into the film production process. On set, he has the ability to ask questions and observe first hand. He can visually see all the roles and responsibilities of each job on the set.
Next step was to establish a business model. Using prior knowledge from the music industry, he devises a plan to bring the similar independent music mind set to film making, and Master P the film industry. The key is to make the film lucrative for the buyers. The resulting strategy is to create $2 million independent films. With some independent films costing $20 million, the Electric Republic price point makes an easier pre-sell to buyers.
“I wanted to dedicate the content mostly to millennials. I felt they were under programed, and a low hanging fruit. I grew up watching Love and Basketball, Coming to America, Sixteen Candles, and Boys N the Hood. I don’t see that content being created for that audience as much as it should.”
In 2014, Electric Republic produces a direct to Netflix film, Percentage. The crime drama was on consistent play amongst NetFlixers, and became number one in 2014.
The music and film industry is known to be the epitome of a cut throat business. The key to York’s consistency and success is his word and convictions.
“There’s never a reason not to keep your word. A lot of people talk about work ethic, and that’s all great. But I think you stand by what you stand by. If I say we’re on the same team, we’re on the same team. Someone can offer me $100 million on the other side, but I’d stay with my team. Maybe that prevented me from being a billionaire, but I can sleep at night.”