In the ever-changing film marketing and distribution climate, it’s always exciting to learn about emerging companies and platforms that can provide new and innovative ways for filmmakers to engage their audiences and be compensated for their hard work.

Last week we joined Jennifer MacArthur, filmmaker and TREETI’s SVP of Global Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, at the Made In NY Media Center by IFP, to hear about the new start-up and why filmmakers should consider checking it out.

According to their website, TREETI is a “socially activated viewing platform dedicated to raising the value of content and providing ways for new creative voices to find an audience” that believes “a direct connection between filmmakers and fans is the future of entertainment.”

Get_shorty_3Barry Sonnenfeld's 'Get Shorty.'

The direct-to-consumer platform, which will launch later this year and is currently in its alpha phase, aims to bring talented filmmakers into its fold to help mold its design. It is helmed by CEO Amorette Jones (formerly the Executive Vice President of Marketing at Starz Media) who comes with a decades-long career in film marketing. Jones got started with field, or grassroots, marketing, where she got to understand what it takes to get people to go to theaters and check out a particular film.

Jones discovered that it was often the personal recommendations (via human interaction) that got people to go to movies or watch content. Jones should know—in the 1990s, she worked on the campaigns for many successful films such as Get Shorty, A River Runs Through It, and Buena Vista Social Club—and her breakthrough moment was when she developed the brilliant, viral marketing strategy for The Blair Witch Project. With TREETI, Jones takes the same concepts from her successful grassroots storytelling campaigns and applies them to the internet platform to create excitement around content through a digital, interactive space.

TREETI cuts out the middleman and empowers creators to be in charge of what happens with and to their creative work.

TREETI is powered by Blockchain, which, according to tech platform MTonomy, is “a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a pointer to (or cryptographic hash of) the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.”

This is a powerful development for independent creators because it allows them access to the knowledge of how and when their content is being watched (and who is watching) while also providing sales records. In contrast, other video content platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook keep this information private, which leaves the creators at a marketing and potentially financial disadvantage.

TREETI cuts out the middleman and empowers creators to be in charge of what happens with and to their creative work. “Filmmakers haven’t had the control over where their content goes and how to connect with their audiences. We believe that filmmakers create value, and are undervalued in the system that currently exists. We want to figure out how to bring back value to the creator. We believe TREETI can help do that,” offered MacArthur.

As it is still in development, TREETI is considering several offerings such as marketing services and connectivity to other social media platforms. They are non-exclusive and open to most forms of content.

Launching their alpha site this fall, they are inviting filmmakers to sign up to test the platform on their website here.