Here at Fandor, we pride ourselves on our thousands of handpicked films — everything imaginable from cherished classics to cult favorites and world cinema to avant-garde experimentation — and our library is our pride and joy. But we’re also so much more than a library! We are a part of the film world, working hard to support filmmakers and film education.
Let’s start with your membership. This seems pretty simple, right? Actually, there’s even more to this royalty structure than meets the eye. For example, because all of our films are hand-picked for the library, we feel that every single one deserves monthly royalties purely to support the filmmakers and rights holders. That’s right: we give monthly royalties to every film in our library in addition to monies based on total seconds watched. As our membership grows, so do the monthly checks for every single film available to stream.
Diverging from industry standards, once a film is contracted into the Fandor library, there are no cuts taken by aggregators on the way in and no hidden fees associated with the content. As our Chief Content Officer, Jonathan Marlow, says, “The important thing for Fandor was to really create the lowest barrier to entry as possible for our partners. Part of that process involves absorbing all deliverable costs. We make sure that there are no costs to our partners whatsoever. ‘Day One’ they’re generating royalties.”
Want to know more? Marlow gives even more detail about the intricacies of this model during an interview with Malaika Mose of Beyond the Box Office at the 2013 SXSW festival, which you can read in its entirety on the Fandorian.
Above and beyond that baseline of compensation, we also offer many, many avenues to help connect films with their audience and better their chance of being viewed and shared. With thousands of films and dozens added each week, we have to make sure that it’s easy for our members to find the films they want! On the Fandor site, we use Spotlights, Featured Releases and Movie Lists to highlight titles, and through our online film magazine Keyframe, we offer up a plethora of rich context in the form of articles, reviews and interviews. Far from simply a cold algorithm, our promotion of the films in our library is characterized by a distinctly human touch. And it’s also insanely easy to share your favorite movies with friends and loved ones, for free.
Another reason that our partners love working with us it that in our world, supporting films and the people who make, screen, teach and distribute them is so much more than a numbers game of views — it’s about sustaining an industry so that our members can continue to access the best cinema around. Initiatives like FIX and Fandor edu complement our royalty model, curatorial and promotional efforts by offering numerous and diverse means of partnership. From assisting with Kickstarter campaigns to helping fund new films, from honoring film educators and student works to championing emerging and established oeuvres and careers, we show our love for the independent film world by taking an active part in it. We think Fandor’s Film Acquisitions Director Amanda Salazar put it best recently, saying, “As we continue to build out the library, it really is trying to create a sense of community within the cinephile community…It’s not just a filmmaker submitting a film or licensing a film to us and then, ‘OK, great, here’s your contract. We’re done.’ It’s, ‘Let’s work together on your next project.’”
So there you have it: That’s why we do what we do, and how you help us do it. We thought our Fandorians should know how much they contribute to the film ecology through their monthly subscriptions. You really do make a difference! As for our part, we will continue to regularly highlight the efforts of our partners, giving you the latest and greatest on our thousands-strong (and growing) collection of movies and the community that we have built around them. But don’t just take our word for it, take it from some of our favorite partners:
Matt is an artist and curator (and former director of the beloved PDX Film Festival in Portland, Oregon) with some of the most recognized and highly-rated experimental works in our library. His new documentary Buzz One Four was recently funded via Kickstarter with support from Fandor, which he praises as “unexpected and super helpful.”
Maya is also one of the first five FIXshorts filmmakers chosen to create new short films for the Fandor library (maintaining all rights to their content), and her student film is part of the new Fandor edu Student Films Showcase.