About Us Contact Us Help




Lokvani Talks To Jay Tuli

Nirmala Garimella

When I first spoke to Jay Tuli of Motionflicks.com, I must admit I was intrigued. As we talked, I learnt that the website that he launched  with Bradley Wynn is a multimedia company whose focus is on the independent filmmaker and the short story film viewer. Jay Tuli has an impressive resume. He graduated Magna Laude from Georgetown University with a degree in Finance and Management Technology and then went to work for J.P, Morgan in New York for one year. He then returned to Boston, his hometown, to work at a small boutique investment bank that specializes in technology M&A. Meanwhile his creative interest in media and films prompted him to explore other opportunities as a side hobby. In December of 2004 he eventually decided to pursue the idea of a website that would be dedicated to the online streaming film market for short independent films.  “I wanted to do something different that incorporated both business and my interest in the arts and media”, says Tuli. “During the recent elections the short film Jib Jab, on Bush vs. Kerry was tremendously popular and had millions of viewers going online to repeatedly watch that film, and I thought it would be really cool to be able to have a site dedicated to short films of all types that users could browse. So we launched Motionflicks.com in January of 2005”.

Are there other sites with similar content? Says Tuli, “There are a handful of others such as Atom Films, Ifilm (recently acquired by Viacom), and Cineclix that do something similar. Our differentiation is that we are focused on the short films market and we offer  more than just streaming video; we also offer services for the independent filmmaker through our partnerships such as film/digital post production, script services, original music scores, film production insurance and DVD authoring/replicating.”

From Drama, horror, comedy stand-up, theatrical, animation and culture, the online viewing experience is varied. Most films average 10 to 15 minutes. Films can be viewed using either a Windows Media Player or Quick time. Some films come with a pay per view option, which Tuli says is part of the deal with a few established businesses.

The company currently has a portfolio of over 60 short films under contract which it also hopes to sub-distribute offline to other markets and geographies (Europe is hot for American shorts currently). Tuli says buyers of shorts include cinemas, airline companies that hope to enhance travelers’ experience with short films of various genres, and cell phone carriers.

Tuli works with Bradley Wynn, who is focused on development and content acquisitions for Motionflicks.com and comes with vast experience in filmmaking and film production. Along with other responsibilities, Bradley is in charge of viewing content and driving the film submissions process; he has reviewed over 400 to 500 submissions so far to select the 50-60 on the site. The criterion for selection is relatively strict because of the nature of online viewing, according to Tuli. “We look for high quality in terms of content and production and we insist that the individual own all the rights to their work”.

Tuli emphasizes that quality is very important. “Particularly if you want people to adapt to the internet to view this type of content, the quality needs to be on par with more conventional means. Because of this, we spend a lot of time encoding, testing and retesting our films before putting them up”. As to the cost of digital content compared to traditional distribution costs, Tuli says “I think in general online distribution is much cheaper than offline because it requires little marketing and no delivery. That being said, there are other costs involved for streaming video particularly at which the quality we stream”.

 Where does Tuli see Motion Matrix five years from now? “It’s a little too early to tell, but ideally we would like to be a one-stop shop for filmmakers and avid film watchers. The idea would be that somebody could come to our site, watch our films, order them on DVD, learn about news in the film industry and spread the word to their friends. Similarly, a filmmaker can come to us to get help with film services in their latest film project and when the project is completed use Motion Matrix to distribute the film.

Ultimately Motionflicks.com enables users to control the media viewing experience with high video and audio quality with simplified ease of use, availability of quality film content and providing a forum for a niche group of filmmakers and their subsidiaries.

Some of the films I watched and enjoyed:

Russell Peters: A Chinese Indian shopping clip that provides a humorous take on Indian and Chinese people shopping at the mall.

Blackbirds: A poem transformed into images and sound that compares a family fighting at a funeral to the noise blackbirds make when descending on a sunflower field.

Shiltz and giggles: A pop Opera where paperboy Billy dreams of being a star in ‘Beer, the musical.

Stealing Innocence: A poignant look at the friendship between an Israeli and a Palestinian girl and how the war affect their lives.

Aunty G’s: Five South Asian ladies go through their everyday routine making breakfast for their families, playing ball and throwing back some beers.

Check them out at www.Motionflicks.com


Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help