Prescreen: Indie Films Served Up in the Style of the Daily Deal

November 3, 2011

2:44 pm

Thousands of full-length films are made every year, yet a fraction get the exposure of the big screen. Prescreen aims to be that online venue that offers great, yet often undiscovered or underexposed movies to its audience of movie lovers. It does so in the style of the daily deal model, a model founder Shawn Bercuson – formerly Vice President of Business Development at Groupon – knows well.

Prescreen launched in mid-September, and already has upwards of 20,000 views of its inventory.  The site bring to mind the old question, “Have you seen any good movies lately?” and answers it blatantly for those in the Prescreen community, as well as those in its users’ social networks.

Sign up for Prescreen, and you’ll get a daily email about a featured film with an accompanying trailer. If you like it, buy it. There is an incentive to purchase the first day a movie is offered – a 50% discount off of the $8 price.

Each movie is featured on Prescreen for 60 days. You can buy and view at any point during that time. After purchasing, stream your selection on-demand. Once you hit the play button, you have 48 hours to complete the movie. If you buy early, you have that full 60 day window to decide when to watch the movie.

Why 60 days? The creators of the site curate the movies, and it makes it easier for users to keep track of the site’s inventory, as to not get lost in a sea of titles.

The social nature of the site allows users to tap into the wisdom of the crowd to see who’s viewed what as well as gauge what is trending on the site.

Prescreen rewards the first 5% of users who purchase a movie and spread the news through social channels (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.). Dubbing these users trendspotters, Prescreen rewards these users with TrendSpot rewards (i.e., your next movie is on the house.)

Shawn Bercuson, founder and CEO, leads the team at Prescreen to “bridge the gap” between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Bercuson is also an angel investor focused on social commerce and new media platforms. Before relocating to San Francisco, Shawn was a Principal at Chicago-based Lightbank, and prior to Lightbank, he was with Groupon. The founding team has impressive experience with strong ties to both the tech and entertainment marketing industries.

Filmmakers, just like musicians nowadays, need to self-promote and find avenues to get exposure for their work. Prescreen offers filmmakers “Blockbuster Exposure on an Indie Budget.”

Why would a filmmaker submit their work to Prescreen?

  • Once accepted, the film becomes a featured film, with exposure to Prescreen’s audience and the potential of an even bigger audience via social sharing
  • It’s free; there is no out-of-pocket costs incurred
  • A deeper insight into the audience for the film – analytics are accumulated on age, gender, location, top interests, recommended key word searches, etc.

Features of the site include a high quality preview of the film, a ‘Trophy Case” that displays the accolades the film has received, a detailed summary in a “What’s It About” section, and critical acclaim it has received in a “Who Said What” section.

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Marla Shaivitz is a writer, developer and digital marketer. She’s interested in innovations & innovators in technology and those working toward social good. Follow Marla on Twitter at @marlashaivitz.

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