Christian Meoli has built a career working in entertainment acting in various roles. Most recently he was seen in the series premiere of the highly acclaimed Showtime drama “Ray Donovan.”
With over a dozen lead roles in films and parts in seventy plus television shows, the actor may not be a household name, but he’s a recognizable face and does have a ‘Everything You Need To Know Handbook’ on his career available at Amazon.
For character actors such as Meoli, it hasn’t always been easy to land parts. Many of his early peers in the 1990’s such as Jon Favreau and Billy Bob Thornton broke through by flexing their writing muscles and creating parts for themselves. Character actors faced with roadblocks can be a determined wild bunch, and when Meoli has faced adversity, he has learned to expand his repertoire. At first it was as a writer and producer in the Los Angeles theatre scene. Meoli wrote and produced the hit plays “The Dadaists” and “Octomom The Musical” plus produced the long-running event “Cabaret Voltaire” from 2004-2009. Both projects were optioned and plans were in development for feature film adaptations, but derailed after financing dried up.
Much like he did before, Meoli expanded his roles becoming a film executive and a VP of Marketing at the Chinese owned Bigfoot Entertainment, serving the company and learning first-hand the inner machinations of marketing first-run theatrical and home entertainment releases.
“I learned what it takes to release independently made films with the movie chains. It can be fraught with trying to compete with studio tent-pole films, which have marketing budgets nearing a hundred million dollars!” said Meoli
Meoli decided to create a venue that serviced the smaller independent films that were quickly being pushed out from the theatrical movie theatres. His company Voltaire Media began Arena Cinema in Hollywood. The character actor now added exhibitor to his multi-hyphenate resume and within the last year Meoli has premiered new films for IFC, Kino-Lorber, Tribeca Film, Breaking Glass Pictures that would have otherwise not been shown on a big screen in the Los Angeles market.
No one really knows where the entertainment industry is heading these days.
“It’s like the wild west to a certain degree. No one knows where we are headed, the foundation of the presentation and how movies are seen is changing right now,” says Meoli. “So this seemed like as good a time as any to get into the exhibition business.”