Last week, in our conference room in Culver City, we were having a new hire meeting. Was me, Mike and an excited bunch — most of which I was meeting for the time. The pre-meeting chat was about the Writers Guild America’s contract negotiations with Association of Talent Agents. The last time the two negotiated was in 1976. That’s before TVs even existed! (j/k)
This lack of innovation is because Hollywood and the TV/film industry has very little reason to change. There is combined $150b revenue and no shortage of quality entertainment — last night I was in tears watching Queer Eye!
But there is an unhealthy income distribution to that $150b and for nearly 100 years there has been little change to the form and format of TV and film.
When you ask yourself why you love Stranger Things, or A Star is Born, it’s because of that emotional engagement. For a chunk of your day, you’re living in the shoes of the characters and inside the stories you watch. Whether you feel love, inspiration, fear, or anger; those emotions are delivered to your limbic system through these structured formats (3 acts in 90 or 120 minutes for film, or 3–5 acts in 22 or 45 minutes for TV).
These are no Fibonacci Sequence or Newton’s Law. These are formats that emerged while an industry was building itself. There is no law that states: in order to feel emotional engagement, you have to have A-list celebrities, teams of writers, 100 man crews, multi-million dollar budgets and hours of a viewer’s life.
Simply put, it’s audience expectation and industry standard.
We believe we can create the same level of entertainment and emotional engagement by making mobile-first content that is shorter in length, faster, and cheaper to produce.
I know from personal experience this is possible.
In 2016 I did a movie for Netflix where one character’s entire arc took place through text message. So instead of all the scheduling and money that went into bringing in the actress and shooting her at a live music festival, why couldn’t we have cut to the text messages and play ambient festival sound in the background?
That wouldn’t have worked on a TV screen or on your laptop. But it does work on your phone!
On mobile, we can use texts to drive narrative.
We can drive engagement through interactive decision making.
We can insert 360 scenes.
We can use geo-tracking, AR, VR whatever tools already available in your phone can be used to make more immersive, entertaining and emotionally engaging content.
We’re smart enough to know that we will need multiple iterations and failures in order to crack this new format. That’s why creators are going to be our partners on this mission. We’ve created the tools for them to build this new format. And we are splitting our app revenue 50/50 with creators through our blockchain system.
No view count blackboxes, no changing algorithms. Our platform is built on verifiable and transparent revenue share technology.
When I made my movie for Netflix it took one year to write, one year to sell, one year to make. And at the end of three years, my fee was $35,000.00.
I’m not complaining. I’m incredibly fortunate that I got to make a movie. But therein itself lies the problem. I was LUCKY to make $11,600/year to make a movie.
I have so much admiration and respect for film, filmmakers and the industry. I love the craft and discipline of film as well as the experience. But we need an alternative. So we’re taking the ball and creating our own game. A game that promises access to a wider variety of creators, and a 50/50 split of profits between creators and Ficto. By establishing our own game centered around creators, an entirely new generation of creators will have a platform to tell their stories, while helping define a new format.
Join us on our mission to define Fast Fiction and bring mobile storytelling into the 21st century.