We are extremely excited to share with our customers and followers that were privileged to be given the opportunity to sit down with Aaron Biebert of A Billion Lives recently to discuss the movie and the vaping industry. On his recent visit to the Portland area, we jumped at the chance to get some of his time to ask the questions that we hear about the A Billion Lives movie and even the concerns of a few about how the film was rolled out.
We were pleased with the candor and real concern that Aaron displayed about this subject and his answers made a whole lot of sense to us. We think you will find the information incredibly enlightening as well.
What Is A Billion Lives Movie?
For those of you that are not yet aware, A Billion Lives is a documentary film that has and is continuing to win film festival awards all around the world. The film was created to reveal the troubling facts surrounding vaping, pharmaceutical, tobacco companies, governments around the world and the seeming conspiracy that exists to defame and ultimately destroy vaping and vape technology around the globe.
A Billion Lives also digs deep into the history of vaping and ecigarettes in order to uncover the truth about it’s use and effectiveness as a way to help smokers quit. The film reveals the science and studies conducted by both independent groups and those backed by pharma and/or big tobacco.
A Billion Lives isn’t a movie just for vapers, smokers and vaping industry supporters. It’s estimated that a billion people will die from smoking around the world if something doesn’t change. So this issue really impacts all of us, the people we know and love, but also the entire human population at large. With the known negative health effects of smoking and now the truth revealed about the ineffectiveness of other stop smoking devices, pharmaceuticals and remedies, people need to know the truth about vape and how it can save a billion lives!
If you’d like to watch the movie and support the movement, it’s now available for all devices here
Our Interview With Aaron Of A Billion Lives
It was less an interview and more like a sit down discussion with a respected family member. But when we got the chance to sit down with Aaron, we wanted to ask the questions that many vape shop owners, vapers and supporters of the Billion Lives movement really wanted to know.
So since we did not record all of the discussion, we are going to paraphrase the questions and answers in our conversation with Aaron, rather than try to quote verbatim what was asked and said. It was in fact an informal discussion, rather than a formal interview.
Before continuing, feel free to watch a brief video segment of our discussion to get a sense of what we covered.
Did You Roll Out A Billion Lives properly?
This was one question that many of our colleagues and vape shop owners seem to constantly be asking or inferring about A Billion Lives. In our conversation with Aaron it was clear that they have tried to follow industry norms, though it was their first time producing a film. Following the guidance of experienced industry professionals, it was important that they gained credibility for the film through the various worldwide film festivals, especially since it was an independent film and not one that was funded and marketed by some big studio in Hollywood.
Another thing that stood out to us about what Aaron explained about the release of the film was how difficult it was to distribute it in theaters. In fact, since it was an independent film, they really had no distribution to theaters outside of LA and NYC and it all had to be done manually, one at a time through their partner websites Tugg & Demand.Film. There was no Hollywood studio backing that could simply just get it in all theaters overnight. It was an expensive and time consuming process. When you add that the movie theaters took upwards of 70% of the ticket sales, it began to be clear to us that this was a difficult and costly proposition.
Aaron also explain to us that through doing these film festivals and controlled release through limited theaters, it enabled them to get various international leaders to come and watch the film and that did make an impact. In fact, the New Zealand legalization of ecigarettes is a good example of this.
The A Billion Lives Team Is Just In It To Make Money?
If there was one part of our discussion with Aaron that got a visible reaction, it was this question. This is something we have heard in our conversations with many vapers, vape shops and eliquid manufacturers around the United States. So we carefully approached the topic with Aaron to better understand their motivation for the film and what the money situation looked like.
Without disclosing the actual numbers, we want to be clear about what it took to produce A Billion Lives. Between research, travel, production costs and post production editing and all the associated costs for marketing and distribution, A Billion Lives cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make. Again without specifics, the number is edging close to one million dollars. This is no joke!
The fact is that A Billion Lives has not even come anywhere close to breaking even, let alone making a profit. If the film is going to cover its costs, it will take the online digital rollout and the blu ray release to be extremely successful.
The Motivation Behind A Billion Lives
All of that aside, both Aaron and Jennifer Biebert displayed a real passion for the clear benefits that vaping has for saving people’s lives around the world. As we heard from Aaron’s mouth, “if all we wanted was to make a lot of money, we would not have picked a topic that has this much baggage attached and us banned from most advertising options. A lot of people thought we were crazy for trying to look into vaping because it’s been the victim of so much media attacks.” In our opinion, they saw the injustice and misinformation being pushed out there about vaping and wanted to investigate the truth. The truth that Aaron and his team has documented is not only saving thousands of lives around the world, it is slowly impacting governments, families and individuals that are now aware of the facts.
We are grateful that Aaron graciously gave us some of his nonexistent time to discuss these difficult questions and help to clarify the realities, expenses and challenges of making this kind of film. We hope that you have found the information helpful and eye opening, and will join the fight to save a billion lives.