Filmmortal breathes life into indie scripts

A new online marketplace is hooking up brands with film and TV product placement deals.

A new Web 2.0 startup is moving product placement deals between ad agencies and indie producers from behind closed doors to a more transparent digital sphere. Pegged as the ‘eBay for product placement,’ the service provides a marketplace for movie and TV show projects shopping for alternative funding.

The service gives advertisers – Canadians included – an online marketplace to bid on placing or integrating their products in upcoming movies and shows. Filmmakers register and list their scripts, but advertisers can also create proposals and have filmmakers bid in a reverse system as well. Both parties are notified by email whenever a new project is listed, or when their proposals are bid on or finalized. Barter arrangements between the two parties are also on offer.

Filmmortal keeps a 10% cut of every deal made on the site. For barter arrangements and deals struck on the site, Filmmortal charges a flat fee from the advertiser. The money is held in an escrow system, pending release until confirmed by the advertiser that the product has been placed in the project as agreed.

The site, which launched last month, already has 80 projects in its database, four of which are from Canadian production houses, and three more from Canadian independent filmmakers.

To help get the word out about the site, the company’s PR efforts range from media outreach to a Twitter stream geared to informing brand managers, ad agencies and filmmakers.

Currently, Filmmortal is negotiating strategic partnership deals with Miramax and Weinstein Company, and on the ad side with Ogilvy, RG/A and JWT.

‘The Oscars proved that indie films can be as big as studio movies and artistically superior,’ says co-founder and managing director Sahil Kazi, adding ‘some of the best films and shows of our time were indie projects rejected by major studios, and later on gaining cult and even pop-culture status.’

A special section on the site, Brandspotters, features a database of every product placement in every film since 2000. It can be embedded in users’ Facebook profiles to create a viral marketing tool, and top Brandspotters get a shot at being in upcoming movies, receiving special edition and pre-release DVDs, as well as attending premieres and film festival screenings.

The co has 50 ad agencies signed up for its private beta (pre-launch). Demo vids for interested advertisers can be viewed on Vimeo here.