Making the Movie

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A List of Film Collaboration Websites

It seems like I get a pitch in my inbox once a week for a website that allows filmmakers to collaborate or raise funds. In the interest of keeping them straight in my own head, I’ve made a list with notes on each site — whether it can be used to collaboration on screenplays, production, fundraising, etc. For additional information on distribution platforms, see this list of streaming movie outlets.

Sites are listed alphabetically in three categories: Tested, Untested and Graveyard.

Some I’ve overlooked? Leave a comment below.

Tested Sites

These are sites I have personally kicked the tires on. Being listed here should not be considered an endorsement, just a sense that the reviews are coming from personal experience.

Amazon CreateSpace
createspace.com

Originally an independent company subsumed into the Amazon behemoth, I used their print-on-demand features to create the DVD for my short film “Stull”. The DVDs came out nice, since I took the time to make nice art for them, but they are still the type (is it plus R?) that do not play perfectly on every player. I never had a problem with anyone I’ve sold, for what it is worth. I don’t like the way their website looks or the huge percentage of profit they take, but it does get you a listing on Amazon.com quickly and easily. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 OCTOBER 2013

Amazon Studios
studios.amazon.com/

This site can be used to collaborate (with strangers mostly) on scripts and make demo movies. It got a lot of heat when it launched in 2010 because the Conditions of Use are very bad for the writers who are submitting scripts and critiquing each others’ scripts and the filmmakers who are making the demo versions of these scripts. Yes, some people will win cash prizes, but they’ll be paid a lot less for their intellectual property than if they had sold it in Hollywood at the market rate. Read more in my initial analysis.

One year later, the conclusions I read from users was not to enter a script and only consider participating the short film aspect, which doesn’t seem to be as gamed in terms of the voting. Two years later, Amazon Studios has partnered with Warner Brothers and expanded their content purchases, apparently with an eye on competing with Netflix (and HBOGo) in original streaming content. They are also offering paid re-write opportunities, again, at lower pay than the Hollywood market rate. And still, no projects of note have emerged from this “studio”. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 9 November 2012

Craigslist
craigslist.org

Yes, I’m including this old standby. Why? Because, although it doesn’t offer all the social media bells and whistles of other websites, it’s a great way to crew a movie, or find used equipment. It definitely has the widest user base of any of these websites, and it is conveniently organized by geography. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Film and TV Pro
filmandtvpro.com

A site for crewing up your films, started relatively recently (2010) compared to mainstays like Mandy and Craigslist. The process to create a profile is pretty onerous. Then, once you’ve been through that whole rigamarole, you find you have to pay to see details of the job listings. At $60/year or $10/month, I doubt the site has much of a user base. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 4/12/2013

IndieGoGo
indiegogo.com

This is a crowdfunding site that started before Kickstarter and is geared explicitly towards filmmakers. The main difference seems to be that Kickstarter has a 90 day cap and you can only do all-or-nothing campaigns. (Note: Unintuitively, the deadline is a good incentive to raise money.) You can also use IndieGoGo with a non-profit to make your backers’ donations tax-deductible — a great incentive. For more about this and other aspects of using IndieGoGo as a filmmaker, read my interview with filmmaker Jason Decker. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 10/30/2011

Kickstarter
kickstarter.com

This site gained prominence thanks to a nytimes.com mention, which didn’t make their model sound entirely solvent. But they’ve stuck around and I would now call them the prime crowd-funding site. One drawback is that the contributions your donors make through them are not tax-deductible, which can be a big incentive for people to give, but if your project is non-profit, you should be going through a non-profit anyway.  For further commentary from this blog, see Kickstarter and the Rise of Crowdfunded Filmmaking. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 10/30/2011

Mandy
mandy.com

Mandy seems to be one of the main production jobs boards, at least here in LA. They have a great user base of working professionals. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Paypal
paypal.com

Some filmmakers use Paypal’s payment system to accept donations. Paypal is not really geared towards this and there have been some problems with people running afoul of their complicated terms of service and having their funds locked up or lost. In terms of functionality, looks and navigatio, PayPal remains a bit web 1.0 (i.e., kludgy). They take 2.9% + $0.30 USD per transaction, from what I gather. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 15 AUGUST 2012

Vimeo
vimeo.com

You may think of Vimeo primarily as a video hosting site. But they also have some social networking features and are more aggressive than YouTube in seeking out filmmakers and film artists (as opposed to people who upload videos of their cats). I like that you can add yourself to the credits of films to which you contributed. Although it’s not built specifically for collaboration, the clean interface and social features make Vimeo an option for group projects. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Wreck A Movie
wreckamovie.com

A group of filmmakers in Finland created a platform so they could collaborate over the web on a movie called Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning. They later decided to open up the platform. Wreck A Movie seems to have a pretty strong international user base, with a decided emphasis on computer effects specialists.

I have recently dipped my toe in the water with the site, and was able to find an enthusiastic effects artist to help me complete some green-screen and graphics work for a music video. The site can be a bit kludgy to use, and has severe limitations in sharing video files of reasonable sizes, but I have to give it a strong recommendation based on the users I’ve interacted with there so far. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

YouTube
youtube.com

The 1,000 lb gorilla in the room. Bought out by Google, the web’s most popular video site also includes some social networking-type features. I don’t think they are as good as Vimeo at the social part as it relates to filmmakers, but they add features with such frequency, I wouldn’t ever count them out. Already some filmmakers have been able to work out distribution for full films with paid downloads. Top producers of weekly content have been given gift certificates to B&H and even some production money. There are select few who actually make a living off making videos for the site. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 11 February 2012

Untested Sites

These are sites that I have only been briefly confirmed to exist but I have not tested. Any description of features comes from secondary sources, often press releases from the site itself.

Assemble
assemble.me

Formerly MovieSparx, this site has paid web design tools geared toward filmmakers. Nofilmschool’s Ryan B. Koo used it to build the website for his film Manchild. It has audience-tracking features and a way to sell directly VOD. They take 10% for downloads. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 October 2013

BitTorrent Bundles
bundles.bittorrent.com

The peer-to-peer technology that is infamous for its piratical uses can also be used by filmmakers to simply distribute their films. The company is working hard to promote films and filmmakers who choose to distribute in the format in order to show Hollywood that it’s not all about piracy. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 October 2013

Bond360
bondinfluence.com

A marketing and PR firm run by Mark Schiller. They specialize in direct distribution campaigns (a.k.a. self-distribution) for indie films. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 October 2013

Boolaka
boolaka.com

Booklaka is a Web 2.0 site that aims to be a one-stop shop: a social network, jobs board, fund raiser and web distribution platform. They are somehow associated with another site, exploretalent.com. I tried creating an account and never got the email with my password. I’m suspicious of their motives because they ask for a birthday and a zip code, neither of which are relevant for film collaboration, but which do make mailing lists more valuable. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 11/29/2011

Crews.TV
www.crews.tv

Readers outside the US should check out Crews.tv, a “boutique-like” social network for freelance film crews that has been operating in New Zealand for 10 years and then expanded to Australia, Asia and South Africa and the UK. According to rep Yves Simard, you have to be vetted to join. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Digital Film Cloud Network
dcfn.com

They call themselves “Match.com for the movie industry.” The idea is to put bankers, distributors and filmmakers together. As of October 2013, they are still in a testing “Alpha” phase. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 OCTOBER 2013

Distrify
distrify.com

Another place that provides marketing and distribution tools for ~30% profit rake and no upfront cost. They are considered one of the larger players in this space, although off the top of my head I cannot recall ever interacting with a particular film through their widgets or ever hearing of a filmmaker making use of them. ENTRY LAST UPDATE 6 OCTOBER 2013

Dynamo
site.dynamoplayer.com

Video host that splits rental revenues 70/30, with the content creator setting the price. Potential audiences can pay with existing Amazon or PayPal accounts and the embeddable player works with facebook and geoblocking. Ed Burns used it to distribute his film Nice Guy Johnny. As of December 2012, you could not sign up as an individual filmmaker, but needed to have a “service contract” in place. If you do not generate $100 in sales per month, you must pay for storage. LAST UPDATED 1/22/2013

Eumagine Factory
eumagine.eu

This site bills itself as a watering hole for producers and editors, at least I think it does. The English on the site seems to be machine-translated. Also, the pages loaded slowly when I tried clicking around. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Film Annex
filmannex.com

“Film Annex is an online film distribution company and Web Television Network. Its mission is to finance the productions of independent filmmakers and the social responsibility projects of organizations through the use of its distribution technology.” Distribution technology meaning an embeddable player that can also serve ads. In other words, it does what YouTube does, only more selectively. It seems like their terms are better than YouTube’s Partner terms, but of course do your own due diligence. They also have a feature where you can have your own blog. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 19 Jul 2011

FilmBay
filmbay.com

Global distribution platform with a 5% rake. Sign-up is free or $39/year depending on the level. They are apparently very scrupulous about copyright issues, and will help you get your documentation in order. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 October 2013

FilmBreak
filmbreak.com

Launched in 2012, this site is a Web 2.0-style filmmaker networking service with a free tier and a $9.95-$14.95/mo premium tier. President Taylor McPartland has written to me that “in the very near future we plan to give away our paid membership service. It’s more important to us that filmmakers have the ability to create multiple projects and showcase themselves in the best possible light than it is to create a barrier of a monthly fee.” Like other sites of this ilk, it needs to become popular to be valuable, so that might help it build up the user base. They also plan on giving away ad space to entice companies to offer special user discounts. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 11 Feb 2012

The Film Collaborative
thefilmcollaborative.org

A non-profit that maintains a “Facebook for Filmmakers” as well as provides many useful resources. They have free and paid membership levels. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 3/29/12

FilmFunds
filmfunds.com

Launched in August of 2011. Clicking around, it looks a bit Kickstarter-y with Promoters instead of Backers. The new wrinkle is that actors can create profiles and get themselves attached to projects, which is interesting. Not a lot of signs of life yet but it is early days. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 10/30/2011

Gumroad
gumroad.com

Distribution platform that takes 5% plus $.25. While I haven’t heard of any films or filmmakers using the platform, they have some big names in music that are using it. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 OCTOBER 2013

Icewhole / Underground Movies
icewhole.com

This site appears to have abandoned the name Icewhole and are calling themselves Underground Movies. What icewholes. From the looks of it, they run competitions in addition to being a social networking site for filmmakers. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

hitRECORD
hitrecord.org

A site which allows musicians, writers, animators and other creative types to produce content for the television show starring actor/director Joseph Gordon-Levitt. $50,000 gets divvied up among contributors to each episode — which doesn’t work out to much for each individual but the show is handsomely produced and I think many young filmmakers hope it will serve as a springboard to launch their career. Time will tell whether anyone will get a career boost besides hitRECORDjoe. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 11 February 2014

Kapipal
kapipal.com

Another crowdfunding site like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. It is open worldwide, works through PayPal donations and seems to have a more laid-back approach to fleecing your family members than other fundraising sites. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

MoPix
getmopix.com

In August of 2012, online movie distributor MoPix made an aggressive play to corner the indie movie long tail by making a deal with FilmBaby, the movie arm of indie music powerhouse CDBaby. They want to make it easy for filmmakers to sell their films as “apps” on platforms like iTunes App Store. I don’t know anyone who has used MoPix or FilmBaby. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 15 AUGUST 2012

MoviePals
moviepals.com

Another social network that aims to connect actors, directors, distributors, etc. The site launched in April of 2012 and is free to join. According to the welcome video, there are online filmmaking challenges where the prize is further promotion on the site. I don’t know anyone who has used this site. They seem to be making an aggressive push to sign up “names” as members, such as John Carpenter, Vin Diesel and Ian McShane – so far without success. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 15 AUGUST 2012

People Jar
peoplejar.com

People Jar aims to help people looking for people with specific talents. The example they give in a press release is “a blonde hair, brown eyed actor that lives in LA and knows how to scuba dive.” I went to the site and searched for just that. I got 0 results. Maybe the site will get enough users for that fine-grained a search. Right now, it seems optimized for searching for actors by location and union affiliation, which is useful enough. It might work better as a Facebook or MySpace app — some place that already has a larger built-in user base. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Plotbot
plotbot.com

An online screenwriting tool which allows multiple screenwriters to work together. Sure, Final Draft software has the ‘collabo-write’ feature, but Plotbot is free. (I haven’t tried it so can’t say how well it works.) ENTRY LAST UPDATED 25 Feb 2012

ProductionHUB
productionhub.com

If Craigslist is too broad for you, you could use ProductionHUB to post and find crew. I’ve never heard of anyone using it – I think Mandy pretty much dominates this space. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

PUMit
pumit.com

PUMit describes itself as “a suite of DIY tools for filmmakers and distributors.” As of writing, those tools would be a way for filmmakers to accept PayPal payments for streaming links to their films, tracking and analytics for said links, facebook integration and a ‘D2B Direct to Buyer’ invite tool. The site comes out of Europe, specifically France where it has apparently been testing for two years before expanding. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 9/27/2012

Put It On
putiton.com

I know very little about this site, which seems to be affiliated with New York Film Academy. They have an online festival, and it looks like they have ambitions to include artists from other media, such as musicians and fashion. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

RocketHub
rockethub.com

I first heard about this site when it was listed in an article in Variety about crowdfunding alongside Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Like Kickstarter, they use all-or-nothing funding. The site look well-put-together. I don’t know anyone who has used it. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Scripped
scripped.com

Browser-based screenwriting software with collaborative functions. They offer a free 30 day trial. Cost is $10/month or $90 (lifetime) if you decide to buy. I don’t know anyone who uses it, so I have no idea how reliable the service is or whether you can work offline. (This is critical for web-based or cloud services. Do your research.) Commenter Cameron (below) reports it has a small user base but he had no problem finding collaborators. It sounds like the interfaces is similar to Celtx screenwriting software. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 6 MARCH 2013

Shooting People
shootingpeople.org

This is not a website for people who like to hunt the most dangerous game, it’s a social network for indie filmmakers. From what I can tell, they have a pretty active community, mostly European, especially UK. I get lots of emails from them which I quickly started to ignore which makes them a bit spammy. The site costs £30/yr to join but I don’t remember paying any money so maybe it used to be free. There’s a wealth of informational resources on the site (including access to David Lynch’s famous weather reports) which makes the design a bit cluttered. They will host/stream your movie for you. I haven’t gotten anything out of the site but I haven’t put any time or effort into to trying to get anything out of the site. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Sponsume
sponsume.com

I found out about this one when I read it was used to fund the short films of British comedienne Josie Long. I don’t know much about it. The donation amounts are listed in pounds (£ GBP), so I presume it is British-centric. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 10/6/2013

Stage 32
stage32.com

A social network “for film, television and theater creatives” launched in September 2011. It claims 50,000 members in 180 countries as of a May 2012 press release, although the FAQ on the site says 40,000. No idea how many members are active. The design of the outside of the site is slick; I have not created a profile and poked around the inside. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 22 MAY 2012

StarNow
starnow.com

This is a collaboration site that seems to hub out of New Zealand, although it has members all over the world, with German- and French-speaking support. I found out about them through their sponsorship of the Hollyshorts Film Festival in Hollywood. I don’t know anyone who has ever used them. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 15 Aug 2012

Studio Beyond
studiobeyond.net

This is another site I heard about thanks to an email pitch. Their annoyingly Flash-heavy site makes big promises about “barrier-free access to industry executives and talent.” Against my better judgement, I took them up on the free trial. After I created a log-in, the site failed to load. Game over. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Studio Path
studiopath.net

I got an email about this when I heard Tribe Hollywood was shutting down. I didn’t dare click around the site — it looked too sketchy. They advertise a toolbar, a classic malware ploy. Um, no thanks. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

StudioVox
studiovox.com

Currently invitation only. I haven’t poked around it yet, but they have a slick video that very non-specifically asserts it is a platform for collaborating to create and sell music and movies. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 11 Apr 2012

Talenthouse
talenthouse.com

Talenthouse is not just limited to filmmakers, although they claim Fernando Meirelles (co-director, City of God) as a user. They aim to have musicians, photographers, fashion designers and artists as well. Don’t know much beyond that other than it looks UK-oriented and the design of the main page is too busy for my taste. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Unusuals
unusuals.net

As you can see from when I talked about this site earlier, their confused pitches didn’t convince me to try a three month trial. They have a cute, clean design but it looks like the site would be dead in the water if LinkedIn added the ability to have reels. Does anybody pay to post their reel and resume? You could do it free with Vimeo and Blogspot. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

Yekra
yekra.com

Billing themselves as competitors to SnagFilms, GoDigital, PivotShare and Distrify, this oddly-named distribution and self-promotion platform as announced a “pre-release” of their site in September of 2012. As near as I can tell, that means it is in the invite-only beta-testing stage. Pricing is yet-to-be announced, but it will have four tiers, one of which I’m guessing will be free. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 12 November 2012

The Graveyard

Over the years, many of these sites have failed to build a user base and shut down. Their final reviews are archived below.

Chill
chill.com

As of December 15, 2013, Chill.com is shutting down. A distribution platform for films — I first encountered it with comedian Maria Bamford’s Special Special Special. The process of buying and downloading/streaming the show was very smooth. They have no upfront fees, but a 30% profit rake. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 23 November 2013

Five Sprockets
fivesprockets.com

Five Sprockets was a Web 2.0 offering designed explicitly for filmmakers. It had modules for collaborating on every aspect of production. I did an my initial assessment back in 2008. Shut down as of November 2, 2012. A commenter recommended Scripped if you are looking for a similar screenwriting module. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 11 NOVEMBER 2012

Power Filmmaking
powerfilmmaking.com

This tie-in site for filmmaker Jason Tomaric’s book has been deprecated. The content has moved to FilmSkills.com. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 15 AUGUST 2012

Tribe Hollywood
tribehollywood.com

UPDATE: Tribe Hollywood has shut down and moved entirely to Facebook. ENTRY LAST UPDATED 7/19/2011

MORE: Click here for Making the Movie’s List of Sites that Distribute Independent Films Over the Web

9 Comments

  1. A word on Production Hub… Im a TV freelancer in miami- I joined PH specifically get contact information for one gig. Since then I have picked up at least two days a month extra. In miami in the summer time… that's huge! So far it's paid for it's self 30 times over. -SG-

  2. Thanks for including Wreckamovie on your list of collaboration sites in filmmaking. Wreckamovie was actually created based on the experience gained by the team when making Star Wreck (which took 7 years btw, a long learning process in other words). Based on the lessons learned when making Star Wreck, Wreckamovie was created. I think it's very important that the site is made by people that have made a full feature length movie with no budget. So many of these sites around that seem to be built by people who have never even seen a movie, at least they have never made one, that's for sure;-)
    You are also right in your comment that we have a lot of people with deep technical skills in areas like CGI and effects. Don't know when you last visited us, but we have been growing and our biggest "wreckupation" nowadays is writer followed by actor, so it's a really good mix of different skills and capabilities. We have about 170 countries represented, so it's a pretty international crowd as well.
    Wreckamovie is really a site by filmmakers for filmmakers and we are trying to make it as good as possible for that. The site is completely free to use and we would love to see even more people join us in our mission to wreck the Hollywood model;-)

    We are at http://wreckamovie.com if that wasn't already obvious.

  3. I have to complement Peter with a word or two for Wreckamovie. We've put our production there and received valuable feedback from the audience and fellow filmmakers.

    The growth speed of Wreckamovie is daunting as new productions are started weekly. Definitely worth to check out if filmmaking is in the heart of you.

  4. I've been using Wreckamovie.com for an ongoing feature film production called "Norwegian Ninja", and it's a great site! I've written some thoughts about using it here: http://ninjatroppen.montages.no/2009/08/19/the-second-brain/

  5. There's another platform for collaborative filmmaking, based in Austria. It's called Hercules Filmnetwork and can be reached at http://www.herculesfilm.com/ – check it out!

  6. Great List! Would also like to mention Film Annex, an online film distribution company & WebTV network catering to many unique interests. We are home to a community of filmmakers, film enthusiasts, film companies, festivals, institutions & organizations. We can offer filmmmakers tailor-made WebTVs, low to no cost promotion, and a way to monetize content. There are many ways in which we can partner to suit the needs of individual filmmakers.

    Check us out at filmannex.com.

  7. This post is exactly what I need to get off the ground. I will be making a donation to the site shortly. Great work with the site content.

  8. I use Scripped.com. The user base is very low, but it works much like CELTX software. It has an offline capability, and can import/export scripts from .txt, .DOC, .rtf, and some others.

    I’ve found two collaborators who have helped me on my scripts so far. I’ve only been active on there for 2 weeks.

    It also has a nice licensing feature that makes it easy to decide how protective you wish to be of your work. All of it is based under Creative Commons licensing.

    Hope that helps.

    And thanks again for the great content.

  9. Do you know of any sites that facilitate putting music-makers and film-makers together in collaborations?

    Thanks!
    Ocean
    Singer, Songwriter, Music Producer

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