Flixstarter

1.  Watch Trailers

2.  Buy tickets (or DVD’s, downloads, etc.)

3.  When films make their budget, they get made and you watch them

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowd funding sources have been used to raise money for many filmmaking projects, but none of them are designed to be a great way to bring films and audiences together.  Flixstarter is designed to connect movies and moviegoers in the the most natural way possible, through the experience of watching trailers together in a darkened theater.

The Flixstarter experience for moviegoers is as minimalistic as possible, with an extreme focus on presenting film trailers.  No ancillary information is visible during the presentation, and only the minimum necessary film “metadata” is displayed elsewhere on the site.  This allows audiences and filmmakers alike to focus on the one thing that matters to them both, the film itself.

Modern film promotion involves enormous amounts of marketing materials, press kits, advertising, product placement, merchandise, etc.  Producing this material is an enormous amount of work and expense for the filmmaker, and consuming it provides the moviegoer with less of a chance of seeing a film they will love than simply being aware of the films who have spent the most time and money on promotion.

By experiencing each films trailer in a focused, distraction-free way, potential audience members get a chance to dedicate their attention to the film, notice details and connect directly with the work itself.

By pouring all their resources into producing the trailer, filmmakers can focus exclusively on the one thing their audience needs from them: a great film.

The same skill, talent and creativity are needed to produce a great trailer as are needed to produce a great feature film, so if a filmmaker can engage an audience in the short form, doing so in the long form is just a matter of scaling-up their resources.

So how does it actually work?

For Audiences

1.  Watch trailers

2.  When each trailer is over, you can choose to buy tickets, downloads, etc. or move on to the next trailer

3.  When the completed film is released, you receive your purchase

For Filmmakers

1.  Produce a trailer (or trailers) that honestly engage people who will love your film

2.  Determine a production budget

3.  Submit your trailers and budget to Flixstarter

4.  When you’ve sold enough tickets, etc. to meet your budget, begin production

5,  When production is complete, distribute your film to your audience

As a system, Flixstarter’s primary design goal is to require as little as possible from all users, without the distraction of rewards, perks, updates and biographical data.  Filmmakers can focus on making great films and audiences can relax in the dark and preview glimpses of their next favorite movie.

A preliminary beta version of the Flixstarter system should take between 2-4 weeks for a motivated development team consisting of 2-3 developers with a mix of skills including API design, graphic design, UX/UI design, media data manipulation and processing, web server programming, web client/browser programming and consumer electronics device (set-top boxes, etc.) integration experience.  Initial beta release would provide responsive desktop and mobile web interfaces along with audience/viewer support for Roku streaming devices.

Pre-launch a selection of at least 100 film projects will need to be collected which include at least one trailer for each film.  The selection should include a broad range of genres, styles and subject matter and a production budget range that is proportionate to the pre-launch audience number (in other words, 50% of the first 100 films should be possible to fund if 100% of the beta launch audience buys tickets).

Pre-launch beta invites should gather 500 beta users to experience the initial film selection via web and Roku interfaces.  Consider involving a commitment to purchase tickets for a fixed number of films as a condition of the invitation (using personal or provided funds).