Perkins’ 14 Movie Made with Help from Fans

The new movie, Perkins’ 14, will be released in theaters in January, but what makes this release of note is the level of participation fans had in creating the film. Produced by film production community Massify, fans were given the chance to select which movie pitch got greenlit, which actors were cast and even what the poster would look like.
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Back in February, Massify held a contest asking users to submit movie pitches for what they thought the future of horror should be. The site received 400 pitches, and from that Perkins’ 14 won. It’s the story of abducted children, something, something, psychopaths, something, something, blood, something, something, gore (view the trailer here). Users then decided on the cast by voting for their favorite video audition. The completed film will be in theaters nationally as part of After Dark Films HorrorFest III from Jan. 9-15.

There are lots of people looking to make the movie business a more democratic one. MySpace’s limp attempt at a UGC film, Faintheart, will debut in a few theaters in the UK at the end of January, but the social network is also working with author Paulo Coelho to put together UGC elements for his upcoming film The Experimental Witch. An upstart called ZDONK will be fully up and running in April, as well, with the goal of letting users invest in small movie projects.

Did All These Fledgling Video Startups Not Get the Memo About the Crappy Economy?

With the global economy in tatters, what are entrepreneurs to do? Stop believing in themselves? Never! Still, we at NewTeeVee are amazed by the unwavering flow of company launches that find their way into our inboxes. Especially in light of the utter instability of the media industry, why are so many people jumping into the online video biz now?

In recent days I’ve chatted with newly launched startups Clipgarden, a portal for paid training videos; Gawkk, a video feed reader; and Hitviews, a studio that matches brands and web stars. Meanwhile, this week my colleague Chris Albrecht profiled the launches of ZDONK, an online film financing community, and First on Mars, a premium video content aggregator.

So let’s look at those five companies that all happened to poke their heads up in the middle of this nuclear winter. Interestingly, all five are execution plays rather than original ideas or breakthrough technology. Read More about Did All These Fledgling Video Startups Not Get the Memo About the Crappy Economy?

ZDONK’s Pitch: Invest in Our Movies

zdonkMovies are kind of like startups. They’re risky ventures typically funded with other people’s money — and most are duds. But a new production company called ZDONK hopes to be a blockbuster in both the business and film worlds.

Here’s the pitch. ZDONK has access to scripts floating around Hollywood and will make them available on the site, where the ZDONK community can purchase shares in an entity set up to create the film. Once the financial requirements for the films are met, the film gets made. If the film doesn’t meet those requirements, then all funds are returned to the investors.

The company is focusing on comedies that can be made in the $3-8 million dollar range. Anyone can buy shares in the film project and will be a participating owner in the intellectual property (yes, setting up such a system required a lot of due diligence with the SEC). Investors have no creative input into the film but get in on the upside should the film do well at the box office, with DVD sales or any merchandising.

According to Roy Klabin, ZDONK’s chief digital officer, the company wants small investors who feel ownership of the film and will promote the film actively in their respective communities.

Read More about ZDONK’s Pitch: Invest in Our Movies