When film critics David Edelstein of NPR, Dana Stevens of Slate or Kenneth Turan of Los Angeles Times talk, the public listens, but does the audience always agree? How many times have you read a review about a movie and felt that the more popular film critics were just wrong? I mean, what do critics really know what film is interesting to an 18-to 24-year-old college student?
One Tucson-based startup Flicksea, a peer-based film review and rating platform that integrates with your social media sphere, is addressing that problem. Their product allows viewers to critique films and then breaks the reviews down by demographic (age, gender, etc.) to connect like-minded movie goers rather than relying on “out of touch” critics.
I spoke with co-founder Michael Krotchie about why peer reviews are so critical and how Flicksea is disrupting the film critic space.
Tell me how you came up with Flicksea.
Flicksea started with the thought: Wouldn’t it be cool to see what people your age thought of a movie? Way too many times we’ve gone to see a movie totally pumped by the usual advertising and reviews, but were let down. Why should out-of-touch payroll critics be able to tell you what films you’ll like? We find that user reviews are an afterthought to the studio-owned movie “review sites”.
The real problem with review websites today: There isn’t anything that empowers you to write a review. We really want to make a social atmosphere that can paint a more accurate picture of whether or not you would actually like a film and for you to share how you feel about the films you’ve seen.
Instead of relying on hired critics to represent popular opinion, we are empowering people to become their own critics and providing a platform where their views are shared with the masses. Flicksea is unique in that we think of ratings and reviews demographically. We know that the opinions of your peers are much more important than the reviews you read in the Sunday paper.
How do you categorize the user’s review and achieve certain demographics?
Everyone’s opinion is valued at the same level, and we don’t just put people into boxes. When you write a review, we tie that rating to what you’ve told us [in your profile]. What we like to see is patterns. The result is that Flicksea presents movie ratings to you from the most relevant demographic in the shortest amount of time.
For example, if you wanted to know what college graduate males aged 25-30 thought of a particular box office flick, [simply] select the ages, see how this group rated it, and read individual reviews. Or, if you wanted to screen a children’s movie, you could look at ratings only by parents and read their reviews-skipping ratings from unrelated demographics.
Who do you think will use this product the most? Why?
We envision Flicksea being utilized by both “film buffs” and casual moviegoers alike. Whether you want to check what your peers think of the latest box office flick or peruse reviews and engage with other users, Flicksea will provide a powerful platform that will maximize your movie-going experience and plug you into the pulse of your peers.
Bootstrapped or funded?
Flicksea has been completely bootstrapped to this point.
When will you be launching Flicksea?
We are aiming to launch our beta in the next two months and afterwards will seek investor funding. In the immediate future, we are focusing on finishing up our beta release to get out for testing and after that we will seek investor capital. We envision Flicksea growing to include reviews and ratings for all forms of media.
I hear Flicksea is moving into the Pirate Mansion?
We were at a Startup Tucson event a few months ago with a booth about Flicksea and were introduced to the Pirate Mansion founders. It sounded like an awesome opportunity to not only network in the Tucson startup community but also to help Flicksea move forward. One of our founders, Taylor Digilio will be moving in shortly. We’re excited to join forces with other entrepreneurs and be a part of the developing startup scene here in Tucson. We see the Pirate Mansion as an excellent opportunity during the development of Flicksea and we look forward to lending whatever knowledge and skills we have to other members of the startup community.
For more information on Flicksea and watch their demo video, visit http://www.flicksea.com/ .
Founders of Flicksea: Michael Krotchie, Cole Malham, Taylor Digilio, Razz Fox
*The list of founders were added after the original post