So tell me about MonsterBox.tv?
Stuck for something to do this weekend, monster fiends? Looking for a way to wile away the long, dark cold evenings? Looking for something to make that night with a loved one extra special?
Monster Pictures has got the very thing.
Presenting MonsterBox.tv – the world’s first horror and cult specific video on demand service. John Noonan spoke to Monster’s Neil Foley to get the lowdown on the goodies they’ve got in store and how your help is needed to get the whole thing up and running.
John: Neil what can you tell us about MonsterBox.tv – how did it come about?
Neil: Well, for the last few years we’ve been very keen to develop our own video-on-demand service. So about 12 months ago we got serious about the idea. We engaged the services of a software developer and gave him the brief to design us a site where people can access our films as rental or downloads.
And where are you at with it now?
Well as you know, we are in a soft launch stage right now – meaning that the site is up and fully functioning but we are still tweaking it to make sure it is 100% perfect when we do our hard launch.
When is that?
We are scheduled to do a big noisy launch on the first week of September, in about a month.
So tell me how it works?
Well it’s actually really simple, you access the site either directly through the domain, www.monsterbox.tv, or via the tab on the Monster Pictures website. Once on the site you simply look through the various categories, or search for a film that you’re after. Then you select whether you’d like to rent or buy the film, pay via PayPal and voila, you watch the film – it couldn’t be easier.
If it’s so simple, why do you need people’s feedback?
We’re just really interested to hear people’s thoughts on the system and to make sure that it’s working perfectly – like I said, it’s a soft launch testing period so we’re really keen to get some idea of the various user experiences.
The feedback you’re getting is really important at this stage then?
Yes it’s critical actually. We want people to put it through its paces so they can expose any potential bugs or anomalies – we want to get on top of this stuff now and iron them out as quickly as possible.
How’s the feedback been so far?
It’s actually been really good – there have actually been only very few problems thus far and we’ve been able to iron them out which is great. It’s amazing how helpful people are actually, since we’ve been asking for feedback we’ve been getting an amazing response from our dear Monster community.
So who do punters grumble to if they have a problem?
They can come straight to the nerve centre of Monster Pictures if they simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will then be forwarded to one of our tech gurus and we’ll try to sort out whatever the issue is.
How many films have you got on the site already and when will new ones be going up?
So far there’s around 30 – about half of our catalogue. Over the coming weeks all of our titles will be up and then as we release new stuff we’ll be putting these up on the site also – day and date with the DVD release when possible.
Are there any new releases that you want to plug?
Well actually yes there is we have Stephen Amis’s incredible THE 25th REICH, which is the first new release to go up on the site – it’s a pretty cool way to kick it all off we reckon.
How much will it cost for a new release?
It will be $14.99 for download-to-own and $5.99 for rental.
And how long does the rental period last?
The rental period lasts for one whole month!
Neil – can you tell me about the different screening formats and resolutions?
You can check information of the resolution and aspect ratio on the page for each film. We’re encoding all the films for optimal viewing on a range of devices from HD TV’s to mobile phones. It has been set up to automatically detect your screen size and connection speed, so that you can download the film quickly but at an appropriate resolution for your device.
So does it have to be watched on a computer screen or can you watch it on your flatscreen?
You can watch anything from MonsterBox.tv on a range of devices, so you don’t just have to watch purchases on your computer. We suggest buying the film over renting if you want the most flexibility. When you buy a film you can download it in MP4 format. This means that it’s really easy to view it on most modern TVs. You can also import the film into iTunes, for viewing on the full range of Apple products such as iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches and Apple TVs…and you can load your MP4 download onto Android and Windows tablets and phones. However, if you chose to rent, you should still be able to stream your film on nearly all modern devices with a web browser and access to MonsterBox.tv.
Are these films exclusive to MonsterBox.tv or can they be purchased elsewhere?
Well of course, you can purchase a hard copy from retailers such as JB HI-FI or through rental outlets. Some of them may also be available on other VOD platforms. Although probably not that many just yet, as our films are pretty edgy and quite a few of the other VOD platforms are a bit gun shy when it comes to this kind of content. Basically having MonsterBox.tv guarantees you access to an exclusive library of nasty horror and cult – films tailor made for sickos like us John!
Will it just be Monster films available on the site or will other titles be available as well?
We are talking with a number of other distributors about putting some of their content on the site. We’re really hopeful that we’ll soon be able to offer a wide variety of horror and cult, old and new.
So you mentioned before the word exclusives, will there be exclusive titles on MonsterBox.tv?
Yes I am sure that there will be. We are currently negotiating with a number of producers to have their titles on the site. We are really keen to make MonsterBox.tv the home of cool horror and cult on the net. If you’re a producer and you’ve got a title that you want the world to see get in contact and let’s talk!
Will MonsterBox.tv include any special features?
Yes I think from time to time there will be for some titles. At this stage we haven’t, but it is something we’re looking into.
How about trailers, info on the film etc. Where do we find this kind of stuff?
Each film has its own page on the site this is where you can find all the juice on the film – we’ll also be talking about all our new titles on the Monster site as they release so there’ll be no shortage of info.
Just back to the hard launch of the site, will it be exactly as it is now or will it change?
The functionality will stay pretty much the same. It will look a little different as we are tweaking the look of it as we speak.
Oh really? So how is it going to look?
If I told you that I’d have to kill you John. Let’s just say it’s gonna look really cool John, really fucking cool.
Anything else you wanna add before we wrap it up Neil?
Look we really would love it if people would get on the site and start playing around with it and then give us as much feedback as possible. We are really hopeful that Monster fans will embrace the site so your support will be greatly appreciated, we hope you love it!