Berkeley entrepreneurs Craig Tanner and Erik Moore are building Flicklaunch.com
, which they call the first indie film distributor platform to build atop Facebook. Filmmakers can pay $250 to set up, reports FilmNewBriefs
“Likeable” fan pages that will stream movies for free for the first 1,000 users who hit the “Like” button. After that, the magic of the social stream will hopefully take over and produce thousands of new viewers willing to pay $1 or $2 (via PayPal for now) for each 7-day rental. Films can viewed on a PC, mobile phone or tablet. The filmmaker keeps 70% and FlickLaunch keeps the now-standard 30% of the proceeds. (A FB credits option rolling out in a couple of weeks will lower the take to 50%.) The company is currently raising funds to build out a recommendation engine based on the social graph that will recommend titles to friends based on relationships, said CEO Tanner. The experiment begins with the release of the urban crime thriller Blues from Level 33 Entertainment, streamed in whittled-down 720p quality.