The concept: Retro Shopping Mall
My name is Evan Popplestone and I run a website called http://cinemasfringes.com.
If you read a (positive!) film review on the site, then you might well feel inspired to order the Blu-Ray...
or buy the T-Shirt...
or drink from the mug...
or even purchase some fan artwork!
By providing handy links to vendors for all of these in one location I can ensure that both fans and the businesses that cater to them are matched up according to the films they are passionate about.
What inspires me?
I've been a film lover since a young age. I particularly enjoy going back and revisiting old classics and cult favourites, all of which have their own enduring appeal. Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and so on...
Of course, there are many other fans of such films out there... fans who might enjoy fantastic artwork such as this picture inspired by Blade Runner:
... or a T-shirt like this:
N.B. products shown above are for example purposes only
The story so far...
The Cinema's Fringes site has a linked Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cinemasfringes/, where I promote a number of retrospective reviews and articles for just a few $ each. I target every promotion to focus on specific age and interest demographics. E.g. my Big Trouble in Little China review would be filtered for the following kind of audience:
- LIKE John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, 1980s in film
- AGE between 44 and 54 (they would have been between the upper end of childhood and the lower end of adulthood around 1986 when the film was released).
How do I make this work as a business?
I am approaching companies whose business depends on a market which loves cult and classic films. I am looking to get them involved in this beneficial proposal.
I envisage the Retro Shopping Mall section looking something like this (very simple) working example halfway down the following page on the site:
N.B. companies listed here are for example purposes only.
The aim is to provide links to every company who sells products related to the film - the Blu-Ray/DVD release versions available in the UK, versions available on paid streaming sites, as well as merchandise such as T-shirts, posters and so on. My business model involves charging a commission percentage in exchange for being included in this Retro Shopping Mall section.
Benefits for businesses linked to on Retro Shopping Mall
- Access to a demographic of people from mid-20s to mid-50s who love older films.
- I am open to suggestions and fully recommend a participative approach to make this project work.
Benefits for those fantastic people who choose to donate
- Those with their own movie review blogs or social media pages (I know there's lots of you out there) can gain the opportunity to have it publicised on my site for contributing as little as £10 (or more if you wish) - the price of two decent pints of beer these days :)
- Donate a little more (£20) for the chance to win one of 10 beautiful movie prints.
- Early donors can influence and shape the site's content by requesting a movie review of their choice (for £25) or an article on a subject such as a favourite actor or genre (£40). Your name will be credited with thanks on the requested article (unless, of course, you request anonymity).
- Businesses who wish to sell on my site can benefit from the first month Commission-Free if they donate at least £100.
£6,000? What do I need the Crowdfunder money for?
- Giving a far greater financial boost to promoting the articles via Facebook. I have already seen effective results via boosting links to my movie retrospectives by just a few dollars each time. By amplifying this boost I will increase traffic to the site. This will make it attractive for companies to use my site to sell their products. A sustained period of social media promotion costs a lot but is worth it in terms of establishing the site in the minds of users as a go-to place for Retro movie entertainment!
- Site development costs - adding the Retro Shopping Mall section and improving it/making it richer in features over time. E.g. pulling through thumbnail graphics of, for example, a Blade Runner T-shirt on the Blade Runner review. Some of the development I can carry out myself, but other parts of it may require paying external people to do the fancy jiggery-pokery. A cool, slick site will draw people back.
- You can only boost one individual article so far before the law of diminishing returns sets in and you get less and less engagement per dollar. Therefore, I need to incentivise other writers to contribute, thus giving us more articles to boost, thus keeping the target audience interested in returning again and again.
- While I can get free screeners for forthcoming DVD/Blu-Ray releases and access to press screenings for films, I may, on occasion, need to pay the costs of watching films when neither of these options is available.
- Concentrating on this full-time in the interim until I make it a self-sustaining business.