A streaming service for gay men.
The media universe is one which has changed quite significantly lately. The take action of creating a film or television series, once only the purview of large studios, has progressed significantly beyond the giants who once managed what we noticed, who was simply portrayed and when we saw it.
It’s a business that certainly still thrives, producing work that flows across the nation’s film displays and our tv sets in their attempt to captivate and catch the biggest possible audience share. A process that some say, is bound by the weight of this burden, because achieving the necessary amounts can exclude content that is suited for smaller, “specific niche market markets.” Such is just how of the strike series and the blockbuster film.
Conversely, there’s always been an array of smaller computes there, produced by the creative genius of filmmakers and producers who’ve a vision and the wherewithal to consider them to fruition. Once accomplished, a short dance with success might occur, through the lenses of local Film Celebrations that dot the scenery, but, particularly if their content is LGBT, the “circuit” tends to be short-lived. The exception of course, is if you happen to be one of the “lucky ones who got picked up” by a sizable studio as stated earlier. Incidentally, if you’ve never been to your local film fest, make it a spot to do so. You will find some of the most amazing, creative work, taking place there. Millions of which could not start to see the light of day, if not through that purview.
Independence is something that is bred into the creative psyche and it has given us some of history’s great masterpieces, in every mediums. But, even those great works need a platform for their manifestation. Small films, brief films and independent episodic works do have places, however they are few and much between…And, if your content is LGBT? The surroundings becomes even drier.
DEKKOO, a new, gay loading service looks to change that idea. Their idea is simple, to assemble as much relevant content as they can, whether it is old or new and offer it up to audiences.
Brian Sokel, DEKKOO’s COO sat down with The Rage Monthly to explain:
Please tell us the storyplot of DEKKOO. When do you launch the service?
We launched DEKKOO in October of 2015, so we’re just a little bit over a year old. We did a soft start, because we were rolling it out to get a feel for what the response would be. We were essentially building subscriber rates and growing very naturally. I’d say, that people truly came online in June of 2016 and it’s only been in the last six months that we’ve been cooking.
To give you a little background, DEKKOO is owned by a company called Gaius Press, which is sort of an entertainment company that has multiple holdings. Our sister company, TLA Liberating, ‘s been around forever, since 2000. A lot of our encounters have all been around gay film and cinema and the universe of film celebrations.
When everything was still about DVDs, we started having conversations, because the Netflix and Blockbusters of the world had started scaling back their DVD business and getting into streaming. The first thing that went was specific niche market content and that is always alternate content, like LGBT cinema. When Netflix exploded into streaming, they grabbed up whenever you can, because they couldn’t get their hands on all the major, great stuff early on so that as a small, niche content service provider, you can amass a lot of titles easily. There was a great representation of content up until a couple years back, when all the big players recognized that they wanted to move into original content. Even after amassing their millions of customers, they began to cut back on almost all their licensing deals. Similar to the Dvd movie world before, they’re not going to license alternative and market content, since it talks to a smaller audience. They need to license for the widest audience as you possibly can.
We began to talk about providing a loading service that spoke specifically to the LGBT community and we began to get excited by the theory and the opportunities it presented. At that point, we decided to refocus our energies and make DEKKOO dedicated primarily to gay men. It’s a content that people know and we didn’t want to water it down with content we don’t necessarily have the knowledge about, to provide a stronger loading experience. We began to get in touch with filmmakers and studios and bring content on board and within a few short months, we managed to amass more than Netflix. That occurred, because even though many of the large streaming sites have a gay and lesbian page, they may just have 200 movies. In the end, it’s not the best representation of what’s out there. Even better for us, those bigger services should never be going to obtain those amazing 15-minute brief films that were a smash at, say at the Miami LGBT Film Celebration.
That’s one of things that pleased me personally about hanging out on DEKKOO. The actual fact which you have a lot content around 3rd party filmmakers therefore many short film titles. It’s uncommon to have access to them.
Absolutely. The truth is, for anybody who pays focus on queer cinema generally, there are so many filmmakers who’ve made great pants. They of course, hoped someone might give them their “Big break,” but that doesn’t always happen. That doesn’t mean however, the brief or the low budget film they made, shouldn’t be seen by a larger audience. The fact that there was no home, no place to access that content, made us recognize that we had stumbled on to something.
It surprised me after i started researching this story, there wasn’t something that spoke compared to that idea already setup. Sort of a clearinghouse for LGBT impartial filmmaking.
Our dedication had been, to be gay, stay gay and focus on gay. (Laughs) If we find something good that is a brief five-minute film, we wish it. We wish it as much as we want a great, new film from Strand. We don’t always need the best “mainstream” gay produces, because people can get those on Netflix. What we wish is to concentrate on the task you can’t find, those hidden treasures and bring them to people. That’s where the fun is for us.
I did observe that you don’t concentrate on those major titles. Is that something you plan on picking up in the future?
Not right now. We’re able to focus attention on content that is broadly distributed, but what’s the idea? I’m definitely not going to take market share for the 100 movies that Netflix has in their library. But, for a film like Pal, a short film we just obtained and launched from abroad, you’re never going to see that anywhere else. We can offer that now on a streaming system that is easy to get at and has apps for iTunes and Google android, is on Chromecast and on Samsung smart Televisions. That’s very fascinating to us.
I love that it opens an entirely new avenue for independent filmmakers and content creators. It could be difficult to obtain a film seen publicly, so creating a location for that will help fuel demand for originality. It’s basic source and demand economics.
I just recently had a gathering with an unbiased filmmaker in L.A., who made a show, ten shows, a very top-of-the-line production…He easily spent around $100,000 with several investors. It has a big name, lesbian actor who has already done great shows and great films. It’s a funny, episodic show and they got a creation company in L.A. who shopped it around, however they couldn’t find a home for it. A small system like ours can give it a home and show it to your subscribers. They grasped that even though they couldn’t shop it to the largest ones away there, these were excited to be able to bring it to our platform and we were too. It was a huge home run for all of us. It’s cool finding these types of opportunities.
The options for content are endless. For each film that gets produced, there are hundreds more that do not see the light of day. Great, creative content, produced with a tiny budget, now has an outlet.
That’s what we began to see, which again is very exciting and is a part of our goal. Likewise, we also want to produce our very own original content, as well. We just launched our first original production last October, a series called Feral that is wonderful and incredibly well-produced. Feral was an enormous home run for all of us right out-of-the-gate, which was a pleasant surprise. Our next series comes out in Feb, a gay dating truth show called Love Is Blind. It’s fun and on a totally different route than Feral. Then, we have two others coming up later in the entire year. We intend to do original content every other month.
We’re discovering that there are all these young filmmakers who, for example, have previously shot a series and needed a couple dollars to help them fund postproduction. We’re stepping in to do that. Someone recently emerged in with an idea and he hadn’t shot anything. We enjoyed the script and we’re going to help him fund it. Feral for example, we funded entirely, from surface up.
People keep knocking on our door, because they’re hearing of other people who have worked around. Just today, another homosexual filmmaker with a homosexual travel show about journeying the world and exploring great, LGBT travel spots that is merely looking for a home. I’m super-excited to talk to him.
Your collection is huge, can you give us a concept of what the size is?
We are fast closing in on 600 hours of content right now, which is crazy. It’ll take you a long time to get through. (Laughs) We release content Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays and are legitimately booked, solidly through July already. If we find new works now, it’s planned for August and Sept.
Where do you see DEKKOO in the next couple of years? Is your goal to create more original content?
What I’d love to have the ability to do, is to see DEKKOO continue doing precisely what we’re doing. Staying very focused and incredibly true to the homosexual male perspective, finding as much content that is of interest to them as is possible.
Then yes, I would like to see us increase our original creation. I see DEKKOO almost as being a content manufacturer, much like a studio room would be, however in a totally different universe. One where it’s just on our platform. A well balanced of designers who bring content for all of us to think container, then we send them out to a great gay maker and director plus they get back to us with a finished product that gets launched on DEKKOO.
That is where I’d love to see it go. We have started to collect several young filmmakers, who are inspiring and interesting with a wonderful vision. If we can help one iota to corral them to their own creative path, then that’s a home run for me. I’d prefer to see us identified not just exclusively as a loading system, but also as a home for creativity and for individuals who create.
I’m heading to be spending much more time viewing my television in the arriving months…
To find out more about available content on DEKKOO.