Indie Film Hustle launches its own streaming service.
Alex Ferrari has always been ahead of the game. In the early 2000s. he found success as one of the first filmmakers to package and sell the behind-the-scenes making of his movie as a master-class in filmmaking of sorts. Then came Indie Film Hustle not long after, offering us in-depth podcasts before podcasts were a thing and video tutorials before "Youtube stars" or online training courses ever came into being.
Now Alex is at it again as he brings us Indie Film Hustle TV, the first ever streaming platform specifically for filmmakers.
Now I know what you're thinking... With all the streaming services out there already, who is going to pay for an additional one, especially one with such a narrow niche? I was lucky enough to grab Alex for my 'FCPX Marks The Spot Podcast' to find out the answer, and in doing so covered Alex's origin story in filmmaking and training, the impetus for IFHTV, and why filmmakers and film lovers will absolutely love what Alex has dubbed "Netflix meets Masterclass."
Listen to the full podcast here, or if you don't have time, read some of the conversation below.
1. "Video Store Generation"
Alex talks about the good ole' days when you had to physically go to a video store if you wanted to see the films that today you can simply stream from home and the notion of being able to watch every movie that was released up until a certain time.
Yes, I am one of the least predominate filmmakers that came out of that generation (laughs). But yes, that is a very important part of my education. It introduced me to cinema, it introduced me to everything about movies. You have to remember, we're talking late 80's, early 90's when I was there, there was a very limited amount of things you could watch. Sure there was cable, but it was nothing like it is today. There was no internet. So these movies were just a window into another world for me. And at the video store I was introduced not just to American blockbuster movies but also foreign films and independent films and things like that. And I still remember I was able to watch everything that came out. Every week there would be 3 or 4 movies come out-- and that would be it. Maybe 5 if it was a really crazy week and that's all that would get released... and I would watch everything that comes out-- and that's impossible now (laughs).
2. Why Indie Film Hustle TV?
Alex discusses why he feels there is a niche for IFHTV and what exactly his new streaming service will be offering.
There are literally a thousand apps right now on Apple TV, on ROKU that are streaming services in one way, shape or form. Horror movie streaming services like CHILLER-- there are other services that really are niche. There's tons of yoga ones and wellness ones and all that kind of stuff. So I had the idea, I don't see anything out there that is specifically aimed at filmmaking, screenwriting and content creating and I wanted to create a place where everything could live, be curated under one roof so it's easier for us to go out and grab. So I actually typed in the other day on Netflix, "Filmmaking", and there was nothing that came up. Not a documentary, nothing. So they obviously don't care cause it's too small of a niche. But it is my audience and it is my tribe so I wanted to create this "Netflix for Filmmakers, Screenwriters and Content Creators" that will house not just educational material-- which are courses about filmmaking and all those other things-- but also have documentaries about films, about the filmmaking process, about storytelling, about writing. Also have feature films that are dedicated or are themed around the business, whether that be acting or filmmaking. Not only that but also television series. All the TV series that have a theme around filmmaking, around screenwriting. The PROJECT GREENLIGHTS of the world. The MOVIE MAGICS of the world. Also, a place that has interviews with the biggest screenwriters, the biggest directors, the biggest filmmakers in the world all under one place. Now a lot of this stuff is exclusive on IFHTV-- some of it you can find elsewhere-- but you don't have to go hunt and peck to find these things. It all lives comfortably in one place that will be available on Apple TV, on ROKU and on Amazon (Fire TV) on the launch then we're going to follow it up pretty quickly with AX for both the android and apple platforms for both iPhones and iPads and we are currently working on Android TV, probably a few months down the line that we're going to be available on. And of course, it's on the web.
3. Indie Film Hustle TV is Coming For Your Special Features...
As a world in which people buy physical copies of movies, like DVDs and Blu-Rays, slowly disappears, all those great behind-the-scenes featurettes and hours upon hours of audio commentary contained therein also run the risk of being forgotten forever (the Lord Of The Rings special edition DVDs, for instance, have no less than 4 separate full-length audio commentaries from various departments). This is where Alex and IFHTV step in.
That's one of my goals. To actually go after those special features. To go after those documentaries, to go after those tutorials that are sitting on DVDs. Some of them are lost right now... there's just sitting on people's shelves--they're just not available anywhere else. And they're worthless for the studios cause they think of it as just a little thing they throw in to try and sell the movie but my mentality and business mind will say 'look, guys, give it to me. I have the audience that wants this content and is willing to pay for it.' And as the platform grows that's what I plan to do-- which is to go after the Miramax, I mean can you imagine all the commentary Miramax has? I don't want KILL BILL. Don't give me KILL BILL. Give me the MAKING of KILL BILL. And if someone wants to go out and rent KILL BILL afterwards, fine-- but I can't be everything for everybody, but I can at least be the hub where you can watch the making of this movie and that movie. And chances are they're going to want to watch the movie eventually or rent the movie eventually. So those are things I'm going to go after as well and I'll be at AFM this year talking to the distributors and getting IFHTV out there as much as humanly possible. At the end of the day it's not about money for me. It's about helping filmmakers, it's about helping screenwriters and its also helping this new generation of content creators out there and educating them.
IFHTV Launches November 1st over at Indie Film Hustle TV. The introductory price is $10.99 a month but will go up to $13.99 on February 1st, so get it sooner rather than later if you are planning on being a subscriber. Some of the content will also be available for rental to non-subscribers. For instance, classes and courses will be available solo and/or as packages and you can rent it for a single price for 30 days. IFHTV is available worldwide and will be accessible on over 1,000 devices including MACs, PCs, streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player. Coming soon to iOS devices and Android devices Apps.