Expert Dojo’s Startup Spotlight – Classic Stills


One of Expert Dojo’s members: Classic Stills is Rene Freling’s second startup venture. Rene has previous experience in digital media, general management, content and sales. His first startup, “Treat Angel”, was a monthly subscription costing $20 that encouraged members to treat themselves once a month. Treat Angel was a self-launched business and Rene quickly realized that he was in need of significant investment in order to scale. From his first startup, he learned many valuable lessons, one being that being a sole-founder is not ideal. Rene vocalized that “finding the right co-founder is difficult”, comparing it to a long-term relationship.


A few years later, Rene Freling founded Classic Stills. Classic Stills solves a problem for movie/TV studios and other companies with large photo archives. In phase one, Classic Stills is publishing official collections of  limited-edition prints from iconic movies and TV shows, capitalizing on a gap in the $256bn licensed products market. Long-term they plan to help monetize the vast archives of clients in entertainment, music and sports by building a publishing platform that uses machine learning and blockchain technology. The idea came from a realization that there is so much valuable IP in the form of classic photography that generates zero revenue and is never seen, despite the huge appetite for rare and iconic photos among pop culture fans. The hand framed prints, which are all numbered and certified, range from $149 up to $1000, depending on the size, with an entry level price point that’s affordable to the majority of pop culture fans. The stills are printed on archival photo paper and are produced through the chromogenic printing process. “The images are presented using preservation-grade mats, acid free hinging, protective UV acrylic and hand cut wooden frames”.


This past year, Classic Stills has agreed terms with several Hollywood Studios as well as HBO, BBC, and AMC. They were able to sign up these studios without any prior connections in the entertainment industry. Currently the company is focusing on their marketing strategy, price points, and securing global appealing content to sell globally. Classic Stills is looking for $300,000 from investors, to help with the marketing, salaries, and advances on their contracts with studios.


Check out his photography and fine art prints on

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