By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire October 16, 2012 at 3:59PM
It’s time to vote on the best ideas as part of Film Independent/ZEFR/Indiewire’s first competitive Movie Hackathon.
Take a few minutes to read through the concepts below that IW readers posted last week and choose the one you’d most like the contest’s developers to take on. The top three vote-getters will be delivered to the developers to get ready for the start of the Hackathon Friday, Oct. 19.
You must vote before Oct. 17 at 6 pm EST. Click here for the full Hackathon description and timeline.
CONCEPT ONE - Best of Fest app
It would compile information about the winning films from all of the major festivals and alert users when the films are playing nearby or on cable or ondemand. Users could opt to receive info on all films, customize based on their own personal tastes, or strictly get info on the winners from specific festivals. It could be used early on by sales reps/distributors as well, as ideally users would be alerted to festival winners as soon as they are announced.
CONCEPT TWO - Indie Central Trailer Wheel
Idea is to make it a gambling experience for people to pick new trailers -- rather than by name of an already known title.
Flow: Come in / short video snip teasers from the trailer library flash, overlayed with GENRES that are selectable.
First choice: SURPRISE ME! or PICK A GENRE (ROM COM, COMEDY, ACTION, THRILLER, SCI-FI, HORROR, ETC.)
Serves up quickly flashing snips from that genre, with more options.
- TAKE A RANDOM CHANCE --> Plays a random trailer from that genre
- Submenu allows you to narrow down your options. For example, it includes ROM COM with the following subcategories: FEMALE LEAD; MALE LEAD; WORKING CLASS; TEEN; LESBIAN; GAY; or ANIMATED
- Give all filmmakers FREE opportunity to include their trailer in the library (Youtube/Vimeo link?), but they must fill out accurate TAGS for searching purposes.
- Also must LINK each trailer DIRECTLY to a VOD download or DVD purchase page, so that browsers can instantly find the damned movie and watch it. Did I mention instantly?*
- Make the INDIE CENTRAL TRAILER WHEEL embeddable on other web sites so that any web page can host the application with minimal fuss or programming hassle.
CONCEPT THREE - Synopsis Checker
Search tool which accesses the synopsis/plot description of Films on IMDB & or Wikipedia, but uses some magical high-tech fuzzy logic to simultaneously search for parallel / similar words within the query. For example: "Girl finds ancient artifact which gives her superpowers." Could also hit: "Woman discovers old object which grants her magic abilities."
Even a partial hit for a word you did not specifically search for, but has a similar meaning would be ideal, like a Thesarus search for a sentence, which has a context and meaning, rather than just "alternative words for this word". It would be a search for "similar examples of this description".
The point of this tool would be for independent filmmakers to check if their idea has already been tried - in a similar vein. To ensure that someone developing a script his creating original plot points - its impossible to watch every film ever made - but having a search tool which would allow you to zone in closer on specific film and especially TV episodes which deal with a certain scenario would be a great tool.
It would help filmmakers to avoid well trodden ground, but also for users to zone in on content which could be specifically useful for the development of their project. There are some huge synopsis publications published in Hollywood, and I am guessing some of those may be electronically accessible, but I don't think anyone has developed a search tool which provides that additional layer of fuzzy logic to give you a similar result based on the "themes" you searched for.
CONCEPT FOUR - Non-Film Site Promotion
There are so many websites and blogs out there, that there might be some terrific ones on which to promote my film that I don't even know exist. And that may not even be film-centric ("Here Comes the Boom" is currently buying a lot of advertising on Ultimate Fighting websites). I think a search engine that allows you to input qualifiers about your film (i.e. comedy, demographic, main character is a history buff, etc.) and returns a list of websites that you might want to consider promoting your film on (i.e. do a posting, buy a web banner) to reach your audience would be a helpful tool. And the search should return the names/contact info of the people to which you address your promoting/advertising questions. If there could be a social media component where other filmmakers who have previously promoted/advertised on these websites were sharing their experiences about how successful the promotion was, that could be helpful information too and also serve to build a community.
CONCEPT FIVE - 50/50 Streaming
A 50/50 profit streaming site for independent films that is personal, warm, and curated by people who love movies. A film site that is searchable not by prescribed genres such as "political drama" or "environmental doc" but by meta-tags submitted by the filmmaking teams themselves. The homepage could be curated with selected stills from the films and a chosen typeface to bring some uniformity to the aesthetic. (A problem with Netflix is the over-browsing that takes place looking at posters.)
When a film icon is clicked on, we are taken to a secondary page that features poster art or images submitted by the filmmaking team. A bio, a trailer and 2 minute intro video delivered by the filmmaking team can be viewed prior to purchasing the stream. The payments would run through pay pal split 50/50 with producers and site.
The homepage could feature a guest curation section each week in the same way your favorite video store had a staff recommendation shelf. This is more interesting than what is trending or is most popular. It would also give the opportunity for films buried on the outskirts of trends to make their way to the top of the pile. Double features should be a curated item as well. A pairing of a short with a feature. Sitdown interviews with filmmakers/supplemental material could be featured as a special each week as well.
CONCEPT SIX - Multi-picture Packaging
Multi-picture packaging for better distribution chances. If there was some service that helped to package like-minded films (by genre, style or potential available window) to help them get digital distribution. Kind of like a value-pack. The service would not only aim to help 'group" films together to best promote them collectively, but also connect projects with distributors with specific niche requirements.
CONCEPT SEVEN - Global Collage
A tool that allows Fans and Filmmakers to co-create and publish to a film's social media platforms. Imagine you're making a rock documentary and you have music fans all of the world snapping photos of the bands featured in the film and publishing to the film's social platforms after being moderated by the filmmakers. It would create a global collage and bring to light the work of other photographers and fans capturing their favorite artists real time.