Chill, the Kleiner Perkins-backed site where independent filmmakers and other content creators can sell directly to fans, has some new features for engaging those fans even before the movie (or other project) has been completed.
You can see these features in action in the page for Camp Takota, an upcoming film featuring YouTube stars Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart. In exchange for providing their contact information, fans get access to behind-the-scenes videos, photos, and blog posts before anyone else.
“Behind-the-scenes content is not a new concept,” acknowledged Chill co-founder Brian Norgard. What Chill can do, however, is use that content for “community activation.” With this content, creators are offering a lot more incentive to provide your contact info than just a generic message of “sign up for my email list!”
Then, once the movie is done, they can reach out to those fans to preorder the film, and promote it. One point of comparison is Kickstarter, where project backers usually get access to exclusive, behind-the-scenes content, but in this case the request for financial support comes after you’ve been following the project, not before.
Not that Chill expects the content to be exclusive forever, Norgard added. He predicted that a lot of this behind-the-scenes stuff could get used elsewhere, for example posted to YouTube, but the Insider Access page will serve as a “centralized” repository where members should get access first: “You want to reward the super fans.”
There are currently three Insider Access projects on the Chill site — in addition to Camp Takota, there’s crowdfunding documentary Kickstarted and “film noir comedy” Kill Me, Deadly. Those projects have seen a total of more than 70,000 sign-ups, the vast majority (53,000) for Camp Takota.
There should be more Insider Access projects going up soon, Norgard said, and they won’t be limited to movies — Chill is also working with a few musicians. And eventually he wants to make it a self-serve feature for anyone selling content on the site.