VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / February 5, 2015 / Vancouver-based Quizam Media Corporation ($QQ:CA) is on a roll these days, according to president, CEO and founder Russ Rossi, and the successes from the past will fuel more success in the future. Quizam is a leading provider of online corporate training videos, and the company has recently launched an entertainment division to produce full feature films, webisodes, documentaries and family entertainment content. In fact, the company already has three films to its credit.
“We picked up a lot of growth in the last 18 months, when we launched our movie division,” says Rossi. “Our revenues are pushing $1 million a year, whereas three years ago, they were only $200,000. We’re expanding at 20% per quarter, so things are looking pretty good.”
Corporate training has long been Quizam’s core business. The company started by delivering face-to-face training on the use of new computer software and programming -a natural fit, given Rossi’s educational and professional background. He was a top-of-the-class graduate in the mid-80s from the University of British Columbia’s computer science program. From there, he went on to become one of the top database programmers in North America.
In the early 90’s, Rossi started a computer consulting company, which mainly provided programming services to large corporations. He established branch offices in a number of countries, and quickly built the company to over 180 employees.
After successfully selling that company, Mr. Rossi launched Quizam Media Corporation as a public company that specialized in corporate training. “We were one of the first IT corporate training companies in the world,” says Rossi. “We have trained virtually every Fortune 500 company out there. We had offices in Seattle, Atlanta, New York, Boca Raton, London, and Victoria.”
A few years back, he eschewed the brick-and-mortar, face-to-face approach in favor of the newly-emerging online model of corporate training. The Quizam strategy consists of both buys and builds – that is, the company acquires corporate training materials from other suppliers and also creates its own videos.
“We’ve steadily amplified our online presence,” says Rossi. “We have a library of some 2,000 courses, and some of the biggest corporations in the world use our material. We have agents that sell our product on London, England, Bahrain and Australia.”
Quizam began by creating and acquiring IT training videos to keep corporate clients current on the Adobe, Excel, Outlook and other rapidly evolving software programs, as well as the use of smart phones, tablets and other devices. In addition, the company has since added an impressive suite of videos to provide employees with the soft skills they need to navigate the corporate environment and these include negotiating skills, customer service skills, how to deal with difficult clients and how to run a meeting.
Rossi and his team have wisely recognized that in a world of tweets, texts and ever shorter attention spans, they needed to re-think their delivery model. “Nobody wants to watch a 90-miute training video anymore, so we’ve developed our learning around that,” he says. “We break it down to 20 or 30 three-minute vignettes that an employee can watch and absorb over several days.”
Quizam’s education division is a bread-and-butter business that delivers steady sales, consistent revenues and reasonable profits but the entertainment sector is the field where the sky’s the limit. Mr. Rossi notes that the global market for learning materials is estimated at $2 billion annually, entertainment is $2.9 trillion-or about 1,000 times bigger.
“The best thing about the entertainment market is that demand for content is increasing by about 300% per year, whereas supply is going up 30%,” says Rossi.
About 18 months ago, he and his team decided to form an entertainment division called Quizam Entertainment to produce full-length feature films, which generally range in length from 90 to 120 minutes. Quizam already owned cameras, remote microphones, sound booms and editing equipment to produce training materials, and all of that equipment is being used to produce features.
They have contracted with an editing studio in Manila to handle post-production, which includes editing and re-editing, color correcting and developing the musical score, among other aspects of production, and which is the most time-consuming and costly part of producing a feature film.
To date, Quizam Entertainment has produced three features. The first, Gifted, features the three adolescent DeMaurier sisters, who agree on almost nothing until a mysterious wood-carved object washes up on a beach near their home and they find a strange map inside that eventually leads them to buried treasure.
The company has since produced a sequel, Gifted II, and a thriller called Primal Shift in which a naive young woman and her boyfriend embark on a West Coast road trip in an RV. They pick up a female hitchhiker, who mysteriously winds up dead in their vehicle, unleashing the couple’s latent bloodlust and leading to a killing rampage.
Quizam can make a movie for about $175,000, and pre-sells foreign rights for $300,000 to $450,000, guaranteeing a profit of nearly $200,000 or more. The company can boost the profit per movie by selling exclusive rights in multiple countries – and there are nearly 90 countries that buy rights.
“We can make money on the small deals, but our goal is to get a big sleeper hit,” Rossi says. “Look at the movie The Kings Speech. It cost $15 million to make, and it grossed over $300 million. We’re intent on producing this type of sleeper hit. Our goal is to land some big ones. It’s like drilling for oil, except every oil well is profitable, and if you hit the mother lode then it’s Super Profitable.”
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