We made “Jerry” with a small budget, which afforded us the option to release the movie in a unique way. We have complete freedom with the release and thus decided to create a digital store online where people from all over the world would be able to purchase a digital download or stream of “Jerry” and other bonus content. It’s an exciting way to release our movie because we retain full control of all aspects of distribution/marketing and we get to make it available to anyone with an Internet connection. Its been an incredible learning experience in searching for the best way to execute a digital store that will be both accessible to as many people as possible but also give us complete control over the sale of “Jerry.”
Josh discovered Gumroad.com early in the year and we were all stoked to learn of its existence. Gumroad is a site that was created to facilitate a place where creative types could sell content directly to people. Whether it is music, software, books, movies or comics, Gumroad sought to empower people like us by putting together the necessary tools to make for an easy online shopping experience. Gumroad takes only a small fraction of each transaction as compared to other similar services, particularly sites built around curating content for indie films. We knew immediately it was the road we wanted to go down.
The DreamStreetLimited.com site is connected to Gumroad where people will be able to go and purchase a digital download and/or stream of “Jerry” as well as bonus content (Original Soundtrack, Screenplay, Behind The Scenes Documentary, First Feature eBook, and Bonus Clips).
The big question for us was, once a person purchased a digital download or stream of “Jerry”, how would they go about watching it?
There are pros and cons to having your movie on iTunes, Netflix or Amazon, but for us the cons outweighed the pros. Certainly people are familiar with these services and know how to easily access content this way, but we felt that technology has grown so much so that there are ample ways to watch a movie that you purchase outside of those more familiar services.
We’ve put together some ways that you can watch the digital download or stream of “Jerry” based on research and our own experiences.
STREAM “Jerry” On Any Computing Device
This includes desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile; PC or Mac. This is particularly easy if you want to watch on a tablet or mobile device, but it works just as well on a laptop or desktop computer. After you purchase the movie on Gumroad, you will be sent an email with a button that says “Watch.” Click “Watch” and you will be taken to a new page in your web browser. There is a play button there and you can watch the movie in full screen.
DOWNLOAD “Jerry” On Any Computing Device
This includes desktop or laptop; PC or Mac. After you purchase the movie on Gumroad, you will be sent an email with a button that says “Download.” The movie file is 2.1GB so plan to make some popcorn while you are waiting for the file to download. Plan extra time if you are downloading any of the bonus content, particularly the Behind The Scenes Documentary or the Bonus Clips. Once you download the movie, there are a number of ways you can watch it via your computer or television.
After you’ve downloaded the movie file, copy it into your iTunes library. Sync your tablet or mobile phone with the iTunes library, and you’ll have the digital download on your device to watch.
Save your digital download of the movie in Dropbox. You’ll be able to access the digital download on any of your devices that are connected to your Dropbox account.
How do I watch a digital download of a movie on my TV?
PLUG YOUR COMPUTER INTO YOUR TV
Once you’ve downloaded “Jerry”, plug your computer directly into your TV via HDMI, DVI or S-Video and make sure to change the input on your TV. This is one of the easiest ways to watch the movie on your TV.
PLEX MEDIA SERVER
The Plex Media Server is free to use (there are additional options that you can pay for) and enables you to play media from your computer on a connected HDTV in your home. This requires no wiring; it is all happening wirelessly on Plex’s local network. Using Plex does require some hardware/software for your HDTV. There are a few ways you can connect to your television with Plex; Roku, Chromecast or a Smart HDTV. Once you’ve downloaded Plex, you’ll want to add “Jerry” to your Media Manager. You then play the movie while connected to Roku, Chromecast or your Smart TV.
Plex is also compatible with mobile devices, tablets, Amazon Fire TV, and Google TV.
Visit https://plex.tv/downloads to get a free download of the Plex Media Server.
Chromecast is best used with the Plex Media Player as mentioned above. It is not advised to use the Google Cast Chrome Extension in your Chrome Browser to watch the movie. In our tests, we found that playback was choppy.
With Chromecast on your HDTV, you can set up Plex on any one of your computing devices which also has the digital download or stream file loaded on it, and use that device to connect to your HDTV and watch the movie.
Visit https://cast.google.com/chromecast/setup/ to get a free download of Chromecast on your computer. The Chromecast hardware costs $35 and can be purchased here http://www.google.com/chrome/devices/chromecast/#cc-promo.
STREAMING IN THE BROWSER OF A SMART HDTV
We tested streaming “Jerry” in the browser of a Samsung Smart HDTV and found that the playback was actually quite smooth. This was done by accessing the link that you are emailed after purchasing the stream of “Jerry” and going to that page in the Smart TV’s browser.
XBOX 360/PLAYSTATION 3
Once you’ve downloaded “Jerry”, transfer the file (MP4) to a thumb drive. The movie file is 2.1GB so you’ll need at least that much room on your thumb drive. Plug your thumb drive into either your Xbox 360 or PS3 and access the movie from the Media Folder.
Once you’ve downloaded “Jerry”, transfer the file into your iCloud account. You will be able to access it there on your AppleTV. You can also stream “Jerry” to your Apple TV using Airplay.
GUMROAD MOBILE APP
From the Gumroad Blog:
Available on iOS 7 and above (Android coming soon), the app serves as a mobile version of the Gumroad Library. It offers native experiences for watching, listening to, and reading mobile-friendly Gumroad products.
Here’s how it works:
▸ Purchase Gumroad products from your favorite creators anywhere online.
▸ Enter your purchase code into the Gumroad app (free to download from the iTunes store).
▸ Your mobile-friendly products appear in your Gumroad Library.
▸ Read, listen to, or watch to your heart’s content.
Your mobile Gumroad Library automatically syncs, so you always have the latest version of a product at the ready.
If you have any recommendations on how to watch a digital download or streaming file, please send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org & be sure to let us know how you watched “Jerry”!!!