Startup FlickLaunch Debuts Movie Distribution Platform

Filmmakers pay at least $250 to upload their movie on the Facebook fanpage, where users can view it as part of an effort to build an audience.

Aiming to be a "filmmaker's friend," startup FlickLaunch kicked off its new movie distribution platform built on Facebook for independent filmmakers.

"They need to take their movies to the audience, and the audience is on Facebook," Craig Tanner, co-founder and CEO of Berkeley, Calif.-based FlickLaunch, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Here's how it works: A filmmaker pays a fee -- a minimum of $250 -- and then uploads the movie to appear on the Facebook fanpage.

Using the "like" button, the filmmaker can give away a predetermined amount of free views to promote the movie or set the rental price to start making money right away. Once the predetermined number of "likes" is exhausted, viewers would to rent the movies for one week at a price from $1-$5.

This model aims to help filmmakers to build an audience through Facebook.

As to the revenue model, Tanner explained that for every dollar that comes in through Paypal, the filmmakers gets 70% and FlickLaunch collects 30%. He is developing a related model for use with Facebook Credits.

"Currently, many independent films cannot secure distribution from a major distributor and rarely have a marketing budget to reach a mass audience. FlickLaunch provides an immediate solution to filmmakers for both of these issues," Tanner said.

The platform launches with urban crime thriller Blues, distributed by Level 33 Entertainment. Written and directed by Brandon Sonnier, Blues stars Sydney T. Poitier, Ty Hodges and Ari Graynor.

FlickLaunch aims to offer 30-50 independent films during the first month of operation. Tanner emphasized that FlickLaunch doesn't ask for right to the movies that are featured on the site.

The company is working on Android, iPad and iPhone apps.