As both an independent filmmaker and an independent film watcher, it’d be easy to say that we are currently living in a beautiful renaissance of online video streaming. Yet, that might not be the full story for both sides. Yes, we have more platforms and movies (and television, shorts, etc…) available to audiences online than ever before, but it’s also sort of a mess.

From the numerous mainstream streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, to niche and independent options like Fandor, Kanopy and IMDB’s Freedrive, there seems to be more options muddling up the market - and your leisurely film watching time - by the day.

While we have one more challenger for your attention attempting to enter the ring with Filmocracy - the world’s first and only “gamified” movie streaming platform - it may present a new opportunity for both indie filmmakers and indie film fans to capitalize (and, even, monetize).

Gamified Streaming

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First off, for those unfamiliar with the term. Gamification is “the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.”

Filmocracy’s proposed plan is to gamify the streaming landscape with a platform that rewards viewers with points (or what they call popcorn) which can in turn be exchanged for prizes and even cash.

Filmocracy for Filmmakers

From Filmocracy’s Kickstarter proposal, the prospect for interested filmmakers is a platform which allows viewers to truly review and rate your films on more than just a thumbs up or thumbs down system. Instead being ranked on the following points:

  • Plot

  • Dialogue

  • Cinematography

  • Performances

  • Music/Sound

  • Characters

Filmmakers will also get paid on percentages of minutes viewed each month and have their films financed by your fans - eventually allowing users to invest their “popcorn” as equity in new films.

A Look at the Kickstarter

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If you’re looking to finding more ways to self-distribute and find a better eventual home for your film projects, Filmocracy definitely looks like an interesting option. However, as with any startup or Kickstarter, you’d be best served to try and understand the overall product (or platform in this case) as to how it would serve its main audience - the movie watching public.

For those interested in Filmocracy, you can check out their Kickstarter page to get a better understanding of their offering and the different tiers at which you can make a pledge of support - including options for upfront membership, popcorn points or even special edition avatars.