The SXSW festival marked the official launch of eDebut, a service which allows viewers to stream new movie premieres direct to the home.
Moviemakers can send eDebut a copy of their movie (either prior to or during its theatrical release) and rent a time slot for the debut online. A notification with the film’s trailer and streaming time is sent to everyone that has downloaded the company’s free app, which the company hopes will attract potentially millions of fans to the debut. Screening is on a first come first served basis, since space for each film is capped by the filmmaker. The people who liked the trailer just before the show, check the app for seat availability and those who are able to get a spot can stream the movie instantly to their TV. Those who cannot get a spot are redirected to incentives like electronic coupons or loyalty cards within the app to watch the movie in theatres or to buy it on DVD.
“I have always aspired to be a filmmaker and [after] observing how difficult it is to even survive in the industry, I started exploring ways to solve the problem,” commented K Rajaram, director, eDebut. “Lot of great movies go unnoticed. I always thought each one of them deserved to be noticed and paid well for. So, once I found a solution, I just jumped in. eDebut is certainly going to take a pivotal role in keeping the passion for film making alive and more importantly paying those filmmakers well so that it encourages each one of them to do more good work.”
eDebut used the SXSW festival to look for filmmakers who want to increase the popularity of their movies, as well as seeking support for its IndieGoGo campaign. Campaign supporters will receive perks like live interaction with filmmakers and celebrities, guaranteed spots for certain number of debut movies at eDebut, and rental discounts for filmmakers.
Show debuts are accessible in the US through 2015, with the aim of reaching further global regions next year. In the same period eDebut will not charge for the debut movie tickets, and filmmakers and distributors will be able to access demographic data from the viewers in return.