Oct 2, 2013

Lucia, thinbeda kammi - Online streaming

Lucia released online! The only "catch" is that it is not yet released in India.

Why watch Lucia?
  • It is a fresh concept, and an enjoyable movie.
  • It has English subtitles - first Kannada movie to have it.
  • Audience chose it as the best film in London Indian Film Festival.
  • It is an experiment at every level - script, music, cinematography, casting, and above all production too. It is the first crowd-funded movie in Kannada.
  • In the movie hall that I watched Lucia, people clapped at the end. And people were still talking about it when they were walking out. This is not something that happens with other movies, even when they have huge budget and superstars playing lead roles.
  • When you watch the movie, I make some good money. You help me pay my bills - this is the most important reason :-)

The team : http://www.hometalkies.com/lucia/team-lucia/
The Music : http://www.hometalkies.com/lucia/the-music/
The Blog, maintained by Pawan : http://www.hometalkies.com/lucia/blog/

Pawan Kumar's filmography and other details on wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawan_Kumar

Lucia Online Distribution - My musings



Pawan Kumar, the director of "Lucia",  has sent an e-mail to all the online distributors asking us to get a bit more proactive. Now, that sounded like a comment from my manager at office. I never considered myself a proactive fellow. Considering myself a proactive fellow will not change my nature, anyway.

I have shared the link on Facebook, and have asked my friends to share with their friends. But, somehow I feel that friends on Facebook will be more keen on judging me than in watching the movie and judging it! There are about 1300 online distributors. Some of them might have very good marketing skills. There is this top distributor who has done 130 sales already. That is some good money. But this fellow is a very dedicated guy, and I guess he deserves the returns. He has a very well maintained website, and he has been updating it regularly for a while now. I guess he had already generated a lot of traffic there, even before the online release. My secret guess is that Pawan Kumar himself owns this site, and that he has bought the online distribution rights in somebody else' name  ;-)

I have used only cheap techniques so far : sharing the link on facebook. and twitter, creating short URLs that redirect to my affiliate link, sending facebook messages to friends etc. So far, I have earned 7.5 dollars, from one sale. Probably, this will be the only one! But, for me to claim any income, I have to earn more than 45 dollars - that is the rule set by Distrify.com.

Even if the online distribution of Lucia clicks in a huge way, what about film industry could it possibly change? Probably, few more young directors will dare to think different. Probably, few more movies will be produced using this framework. But, it is not an easy job. Pawan Kumar had the dedication and talent to pull this experiment off successfully. While there was a lot of hype around the movie, I was always skeptical about it. I blame it on my nature; I hate hype. But then, how else could he have generated funds - if not through hype!

Getting like-minded people to fund a movie is not a new idea. But Distrify.com has provided a platform to do this in a n efficient way. I am thinking of creating a similar platform for writers - where interested readers can pre-order a book ;-) If it can work for a movie, why not for a book? Okay, buying the online distribution rights of a book doesn't make much sense. But, people buy e-books and there are devices which are designed to read e-books, and nothing more than that. So, there should be some market for this idea of "pre-ordering unpublished books". Even as I type it, I know how stupid it might sound :-D

I think I am still trying to digest the "proactive" message from Pawan Kumar. But then, I never considered myself proactive. Didn't I say this before?!


As I guessed before, no sales happened using my affiliate link later. My income report still shows 1 sale. Pawan confirmed that pirated copy of Lucia is available on torrents. Online sales has definitely taken a hit because of this. But I am not blaming piracy for my poor sales. I think I didn't invest enough time on improving the sales. Here is what I should have done :
  • I should have created a Wordpress/Blogspot site with the right name - "LuciaOnline", "LuciaMovieOnline" or "Watch LuciaOnline".
  • I should have invested enough time on Search Engine Optimization to create some traffic on the site.
  • I should have kept the site updated about the progress on Lucia project.
  • I should have shared the link with my friends and enemies.
  • I should have invested enough time on getting the site pages indexed by Google, and made sure that the site appeared in the first page of the search results.
Had I done all these, the site would have attracted people who were really interested in watching the movie. But then that means that only 7-8 distributors stand a chance. The rest of the lot has to depend on social network to promote their affiliate links.

I have shared the link again on Facebook. Let us wait and see.