Inside 4KUniverse, The 4K HDR TV Network Newcomer Using Tech And Pixels to Disrupt The $380 Billion Global Industry.

Behind the scenes of starting out in Hollywood, getting fired, cash flow, bootstrapping, Series A round, and the light at the end of the tunnel.

A cartoon by 4KUniverse
A cartoon by 4KUniverse

June 27, 2020:

Image for post
Image for post

I step out in the backyard through white-colored french doors. 72 and sunny. Zero humidity. Beautiful, you kidding me? I feel like Kanye when he had to be in Wyoming to be creative or Brian Wilson living in Laurel Canyon to write new music. For me, Orange County is my current escape from LA where I had spent 13 years grinding. I casually walk into my home office and peek in my humidor to choose my afternoon treat. If I was sponsored, I would drop a name like Davidoff Grand Cru №2 or Sin Compromiso by Steve Saka. Yesterday, I enjoyed a nice Padron 1964 Anniversary Series maduro. I text “I love you” to my new wife who is visiting her mom in another part of Orange County. I am absolutely sore from head to toe thanks to my personal trainer I recently brought on. He happens to be one of my best friends from my Penn State days and he’s pivoted his own business with Zoom workouts. Fantastic — as he resides in Ardmore, PA. Will my college-age 6 pack abs return this summer? If I were a betting man, I would take the “double or nuth’n” and win. If I were a betting man, I would also say NASCAR releasing that image of the noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway indeed reveals, a noose.

OK, back to the 24-hour work grind…

Movies and Television

Image for post
Image for post

So, I worked for free and learned at my three internships that summer and Fall and eventually Paul hired me as Coordinator, of International Sales. I didn’t even know what sales was. I was 22 years old. Remember, I thought I was going to become a film director. I was at the bottom of the totem pole. I remember on Day 1, they showed me to my office. I opened the door to a storage closet with filing boxes stacked up to the ceiling. I was told to hire a shredding company to clear room for my desk. I would do everything from licking 500 Holiday card envelopes, to manually organizing Sony Beta PAL tapes in the vault, to sending out DVDs of episodes of Bikini Destinations to clients in 90+ countries. The perks included learning the business, networking with people in the industry, exhibiting at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France twice a year, and, the Playboy Mansion. Yup, that’s right, I worked the celebrity V.I.P. limo line escorting stars up to the mansion. Once I was done, I would hop in the last limo with a buddy or two and enjoy the party. Models everywhere. Celebrities everywhere. People hooking up in bushes, people hooking up in plain sight. This one time for Hugh Hefner’s Halloween party, I went as a surfer and wore only a wet suit. I decided I was going to kick off the party by being the first one in the famous grotto. I jumped right in, went underwater, and emerged to EDM music and people hoot’n and holler’n. No one has ever said I lacked confidence.

Getting Fired

Mance Media

Image for post
Image for post

In a matter of 3 months, end of 2011, with 5 years experience working in international content distribution, I made the leap of faith to start my own distribution company. You gotta have huge balls to go off on your own. You need to be fearless or else you will fail. I think I started Mance Media with only $25,000. That first year I worked my ass off, formally exhibited at MIPTV and MIPCOM with a booth, got press, and ended up making $300,000. I had never seen that kind of money in my life. I was 28 years old. Holy shit. I was “breaking into Hollywood” by selling TV shows internationally then got into releasing movies in AMC Theatres day & date with VOD in the U.S. Within a 18-month period between 2014 and 2015, Mance Media released 6 movies and hosted 6 red carpet premieres, Q&A’s, and after-parties in Hollywood. It was a time to be alive. I was on top of the world. What people outside of Hollywood don’t understand is… you need to break in before you can make real money in this town. You, as an executive or actor or director or producer, in a sense, become a currency that is able to be transacted. Without an exchangeable currency, you can’t conduct business in Hollywood.

Some Mance Media highlights:

Image for post
Image for post
Mance Media purchased a Billboard on Sunset Blvd. for its movie, FOREV.

- Actors in Mance Media-released movies included: Hannah Murray, Jessica Rothe, Ryan Malgarini, Haley Lu Richardson, Josh Brenner, Vanessa Ray, Mates of State, Joshua Malina, James Le Gros, Rachel Griffiths, Najarra Townsend, Tom Sizemore, Jack Falahee, and Noel Wells.

-Talent in Mance Media-distributed TV series included Alessandra Ambrosio, Irina Shayk, Ana Beatriz Barros, Half Pint Brawlers, Richard Branson (voice over), Kriss Kyle, Bikini Destination models, and Model Turned Superstar models.

-I attended the Sundance Film Festival, American Film Market (AFM) and Los Angeles Film Festival as a buyer and distributor.

- Mance Media licensed movies, including a Sundance Film Festival premiere, TV series, & documentaries to NETFLIX and to U.S. cable channels and to overseas broadcasters.

- Mance Media became a recognizable name within the global TV market.

During this time, I was living in the Hollywood Hills about a mile from the sign. I set up Mance Media’s office at Sunset Gower Studios on Sunset Blvd., one of the oldest studio lots with a rich movie making history. It used to be the home of Columbia Pictures and names like Harry Cohn, Frank Capra, and the Three Stooges. My office was in the famous writer’s courtyard. It was secluded and quiet. The courtyard is famous for making an appearance in the movie “Mulholland Drive.” Across the street is Gower Gulch, which evidently just got looted during the Black Lives Matters protests in May 2020.

Image for post
Image for post
Mance Media purchased a Billboard near Hollywood Blvd. for its political documentary, Imminent Threat.

4KUniverse

Image for post
Image for post

Fast forward to early 2014, I was rolling. Money was coming in and Mance Media had a nice movie release schedule and a large TV library for international distribution. I had a meeting with an executive at Amazon at NATPE or MIPTV in Q1 2014, at a time when “4K” became the new buzzword overnight. The executive at Amazon asked me how many hours of 4K content I could deliver to Amazon Instant Video by June. I was totally taken aback by the question and blurted out 30 hours. I honestly didn’t even know what 4K was, but I was determined to find out. Sure enough, my entrepreneurial spirit that has always been within me kicked in and I was able to acquire, then license, 30 hours to Amazon by June of that year. I was hooked. I literally fell in love with 4K I wanted to know everything about it. It was an interesting time, because 1) The files were too big to deliver 2) Literally no 4K content existed and 3) internet speeds couldn’t support the big files without constantly buffering. As it’s written on the 4KUniverse website, our History shows that all of 2015 was R&D (research & development). It was intense. The entire year I grew a huge beard, still did my movie premieres with Mance Media, but on top of that, wrote the business plan for 4KUniverse. Trademarked it. Incorporated it in 2016. Acquired and produced 4K content. Built up a library. Through trial and error, perfected the infrastructure of the company, revenue streams, business models, video codecs, bitrates, frame rates, resolution, color depth, HDR, WCG, you name it. This period lasted from 2015 through 2017. 2018 to current day has been a waiting game to a certain extent, waiting for the market share of American households owning a 4K TV set to increase. As well, waiting for cable operators like Comcast and Charter to deploy new 4K-enabled set top boxes to their customers.

Cash Flow, Bootstrapping, & Equity

Carpe Diem!

Disrupting the $380B Global 4K TV Industry.

2020

Image for post
Image for post
In our episodic “Put it on 4KU” series, we highlight things we want to put on our burgeoning TV network.

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

4KUniverse’s First Official TV Commercial

Matthew Mancinelli is the Founder & CEO of 4KUniverse, Inc. and Mance Media, LLC. He is a Movie & TV Distribution CEO, 4K TV Channel Owner, Entrepreneur. He is from Andover, Massachusetts and enjoys golfing, skiing, and watching his New England Patriots dominate. https://matthewmancinelli.com/

Written by

Movie & TV Distribution CEO, 4K TV Channel Owner, Entrepreneur www.matthewmancinelli.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store