One of my formative memories growing up in Jamaica happened when I was 10 years old. It was a special day at school. After classes ended, I paid a $10 JMD (about $0.27 USD at the time) admission fee and entered a classroom packed with other kids. Luckily, I was early enough in the queue to get a seat! Some of my classmates weren’t so lucky and had to stand in the back. Other kids who couldn’t afford the $10 JMD were forced to peek through the windows. The event was a movie screening. The title of the film…I don’t think anybody knew or cared — but we were all excited because it was Kung Fu.
There was a tiny CRT TV at the front of the class and a VHS player sat in a tray beneath. After the teacher slotted in a tape and fiddled with the shuttle buttons, the movie played. We watched on that tiny screen foreign men fighting, running on rooftops and flying through the air. We listened to an out of sync english dub that didn’t match the movements of the actors’ mouths. The classroom was hot and humid. There wasn’t good ventilation because there was no AC some of the windows were covered to darken the room. It stunk of kids sweating profusely after running around the school grounds. It was an awful setting for watching a movie. By all accounts, it should have made for a horrible experience.
But it was so much fun.
I enjoyed the experience of watching a movie in that muggy classroom with my friends more than most of the experiences I’ve had at the fanciest multiplexes in America. It was fun because I was with friends and we were sharing an experience, watching something exciting and new together. That experience and many others taught me that watching content together with friends is more fun than watching alone. After-all, movies have always been shared community experiences and TV shows had their start in the living room when there was no choice but to watch with family.
That’s not how we consume movies and shows today. Recommendation engines use machine learning to serve up only content it thinks we like and we watch on our phones or tablets, or on the TV with headphones after the spouse or partner goes to sleep. There is less opportunity to discover new things to watch outside of our content bubble. We like what we like and in this current gold rush of content onset by one streaming platform being launched after another, increasingly, instead of watching content together we find a niche and watch alone.
I’m building Streamfunc to go against that tide and bring communal video exhibition to the streaming era.
Streamfunc is a technology and platform that curates the best streaming movies suitable for group viewing and serves them up so you never have to guess what’s good to watch to friends. Streamfunc looks at what content is being released on all the popular streaming platforms and whittles that list down to only the best content you’ll have the most fun watching together. Later on, the Streamfunc app will make it easy to schedule and decide when and what to watch with friends and others nearby.
To start, every week Streamfunc will share a short list of the best streaming movies to watch together.
Subscribe now to get those updates along with other great content about how to have the most fun watching streaming movies together.
Be sure to share this with a social movie lover near you.
Can you feel the func?