MovieSet Raises $2M to Bring Fans Behind the Scenes

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MovieSet has raised $2 million from Rho Capital for its movie production portal, which offers movie fans a peek onto the sets of upcoming films — while they’re being produced. Basically, it gets movie producers to post online what would later become DVD extras before a film is even released. The startup demoed its tools at the Under the Radar conference in Mountain View, Calif., today, after a busy two weeks of signing 75 movies at the Cannes Film Festival and closing its funding. However, it’s still just pulling itself off the ground.

The Vancouver, Canada-based company is targeting independent filmmakers and talent agents at places such as CAA, at first. Presenter Mark Rutledge, the company’s COO, said MovieSet is not initially trying to cut deals with major studios out of concern they are “notoriously slow-moving.” (He also said MovieSet actually turned down a deal to promote The Dark Knight because it wasn’t sure its site could handle the load.) Rutledge said a recent hit was a live video Q&A with actress Michelle Rodriguez about the new movie Battle in Seattle (I think this is a clip of it).

Rutledge noted that the film industry spends $9 billion globally on advertising each year, but only 4.4 percent of that spending is online. MovieSet eventually wants to share ad revenue with film producers, though it hasn’t set that up yet.

The company also offers online production schedule management tools for movie crews, which seems like an altogether different business.

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Marjorie Kase

Hi Mel,
It’s actually a very smart idea. Think about it as one stop shopping for filmmakers. The site will act as a portal that takes care of online advertising, SEO, marketing, etc. so creatives and studios don’t have to deal and they’ll make money off ad rev share on top of it. (Think Strictly Sexual on Hulu. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123499181). Licensing fees will be minimal as the content was already supposed to be featured as DVD extras and/or included in the marketing budget. Added bonus – studios can cross promote other verticals.

I’m not sure it’s worth $2m, but when Hwood is involved, there’s always more money.

-Marjorie

Mel

Can someone tell me what the difference between “Movie Set” or the alternative of setting up a $29/month blog, combined with general 2.0 accounts (flickr, ning, kickapps, veodia, youtube, etc) is?

Sounds like a very dated idea, pre-bubble. Unless they are charging $29/month, I can’t imagine any 20-something digital web marketing guy/gal using this product when they can have much more flexibility in community development, etc on their own along with the Search kick provided through using 2.0 platforms.

But, hey, they pulled in a bunch of VC funds that shows that the US finance markets are having fun even in the midst of the worst housing and mortgage crisis since the Depression.

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