Dailymotion Premieres First of 10 Motionmaker Fund-Selected Projects [INTERVIEW]

W?RK Episode 1 : Lefty Lucy, burlesque dancer by bicephalypictures

Last December, Dailymotion announced a new program that would offer content creators that use the video-sharing platform $50,000 worth of funding towards creative projects. The Motionmaker Fund gives creators an exclusive partnership with Dailymotion in terms of funding, marketing opportunities and distribution. In March they selected 10 winning projects ranging from mini-documentaries to web series and screened them during the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Now these 10 winning projects will go to the public on Dailymotion over the summer starting today with the premiere of “W?rk NYC,” a documentary by Ani Simon-Kennedy about people employed in New York City’s most fascinating odd jobs. Other winning projects that will premiere on Dailymotion this summer include “Mad Black Men,” which follows life in the 1960s through the eyes of three black advertising employees, and “Celebrate,” a documentary series that showcases festivals and parties around the world.

NMR spoke to Romain Thomassin, Dailymotion’s director of creative content, about the Motionmaker Fund and how it chose its 10 winning projects.

What is the Motionmaker project about?

Romain Thomassin: The Motionmaker project is a global initiative towards creative content. As you know, Dailymotion has a very general position on content. You will find sports videos, music videos, gaming, life events, et cetera. Most of these videos come from deals we make with big media partners and networks like Reuters or Hulu. Part of the video creation also involves independent filmmakers. This is a big part of the video that we receive on the platform and a big part of our audience, and that’s why we created these labels to differentiate themselves, and these labels are called Motionmaker. We try to make this community living every day on the platform and we have events such as Cinema Selects, and besides these events, we found some of these Motionmakers.

How did you select the first class of Motionmakers?

We gathered with a jury in March that featured video creators and Dailymotion staff. Video creators on the panel included Casey Neistat — he’s a video creator and just released a video that went viral this week about Citibikes (New York’s bicycle sharing system). The selection criterion is very simple. The first one is the originality of the content. We’re looking to produce some stuff that is new and never done before. The second criteria is the viral potential. In that case, we were looking at the nature of the project. Is the subject an audience catcher? We were also looking at the creator’s past projects. Is this guy part of the [Dailymotion] community? Does he have a community around his videos? The third criteria was the viability of the project. We were basically funding $5,000 to $10,000 — it’s a good start but it’s not a lot for a huge production. We had to look at this project and ask them, “What are you going to do so you can fit it in your budget?” and we hope the creators are serious, consistent and do great stuff with their project.

How many submissions did you receive for the Motionmaker Fund?

We received over 200 submissions and treatments, and we selected 10 projects. There were absolutely no constraints about the format — it could be web series, comedy, drama, music videos, experimental work or stop motion. We received comedy spoofs that took a social stance like “Mad Black Men,” which substitutes black people to the actual characters of the series “Mad Men.” We thought this was unique, original, kind of crazy and taking a stance. At the same time Xavier Ruffin is a very good filmmaker, we know him on the platform and he’s doing a good job in the music videos that he does, so we decided to fund him for this series.

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