"Independent film is a passion of mine," said New Canaan High School graduate and resident Glen Cohen who launched video-on-demand site ClickFlick.com two years ago. The site also offers Hollywood classics—more favorites of Cohen's—for free.
Cohen has dabbled in theater and film for years, starting with participation in drama classes and plays at New Canaan High School. He took acting, dance and voice lessons in and out of college, has produced his own Super 8 film and has appeared as an extra in TV shows such as All My Children.
"I initially came up with [the idea of] an online film festival because I felt that's where the medium was heading—online," said Cohen. "My current business consultant told me to do something like iTunes, but for movies. I thought that was a great idea and that's what I'm doing." Cohen started working on the site in 2004 and it launched in 2007.
No membership is required and ClickFlick.com downloads are either free or 99 cents. Cohen says "I currently have 700 films right now with an additional 1300 being put up as we speak." Consumers can watch the movies on their computer or download to DVD.
As a comparison, VOD.com (Video on Demand) sells bundles of minutes for consumers to use to either watch specific scenes or full-length versions of the thousands of movies offered on their site. Prices range from $2.45 for 10 minutes to $86.95 for 1,000 minutes.
EZTakes.com, which touts their ability to "make hard to find films EZ," offers a varied menu of movies with prices ranging from free to $19.99 per download. They feature software that allows consumers to burn the downloaded movies to DVD to watch on a regular TV, as well as a to-go option that enables download to portable devices like iPods.
Cohen is now focusing on building up his consumer base by investing in traffic driving tactics such as search engine keywords (e.g. paying to have ClickFlick.com return when consumers search for "free movies" on Google) and contacting movie blogs and directories to help publicize his website.
For now Cohen says "I work various office jobs to make ends meet," but he hopes that ClickFlick.com will take off and eventually turn itself into his full time career.