X4Y Filmmakers

A New Paradigm for Monetizing Your Work: Short of the Week Discusses X4Y in Article

Jason Sondhi, co-founder of the popular site Short of the Week, discusses the financial potential of X4Y’s “ready-to-brand” model and how it could build your career as a filmmaker.


Sondhi offers an in-depth analysis of X4Y for the filmmaker community.

Read the original article here.

In the article, Sondhi wrote, “The core proposition is for a curated community of filmmakers to produce brand-agnostic ‘spec’ content that can be retrofitted to a diversity of brands and then have companies buy them to adapt to their own campaigns.”

“X4Y envisions the potential for real money to a filmmaking community that has been starved for options on that account,” Sondhi continued. “By side-stepping gatekeepers and facilitating direct connections between brands and creators, it also offers increased access to these opportunities for diverse filmmakers at varying stages of their careers.”

Instead of creators trying to make specific spots for particular brands, X4Y breaks this barrier by giving creators tools and exposure right off the bat. As Sondhi says, “X4Y disintermediates this process, bringing together the work of individual creatives and exposing it directly to the brands. And because the work is a completed spec, creators get the freedom to execute and sell their ideas, rather than what a brand approves or notes to death.”

The new marketplace, founded by Oscar®-winner Michael Sugar, gives creators the power to connect and monetize doing what they love – create. The platform is just the beginning for many up-and-coming creatives who are ready to jump into the world of commercial production.

Sondhi believes the platform could be groundbreaking: “If it works to plan, the idea could be very disruptive to the current advertising model and highly rewarding to the filmmaking community. Rather than having hand-picked directors pitch ideas in a closed process, a wider swath of creators can make work they want to make, with less compromise, and access a pool of brand buyers.”

“It is not unusual for filmmakers focused on cinema to work in the commercial space.”

Sondhi: “…The digital disruption that is transforming the economy across all industries will eventually challenge the status quo of how we source creative talent and creative work.”

“X4Y, while tangential to shorts, is one of the most interesting ideas we’ve yet to encounter for providing material opportunity for filmmakers – by utilizing exposure in order to allow them to break into commercial directing, but more pertinently to realize the kind of direct financial return from their work that can sustain themselves and their career,” stated Sondhi in the article.

“Given the advantages of buying commercials off the shelf: price, speed, the diversity of ideas, and the certainty of outcome, I could see even big advertisers tempted by X4Y’s model.”

“Perhaps even more interesting though is Ready-to-Brand’s potential to expand the advertiser pool. In talking to the team, X4Y does not simply want to take a slice of the sizeable TV ad market, but create a marketplace that is welcoming to thousands of smaller brands for whom big-budget video production is not currently feasible,” Sondhi continues.

“For these smaller companies, there is a lot of risk in producing their own ads – aside from the cost, the processes of how to source talent, take pitches, and oversee delivery, are too complicated and time-intensive for what is still an indeterminate outcome. One of the most compelling visions of the X4Y team is to help foster a democratizing boom in video ‘brand advertising’ comparable to what FB tools and Google tools have done in ‘direct response.’”

Sonhi continued, “If X4Y’s Ready-to-Brand marketplace can recruit hundreds, even thousands of brands to the marketplace with the idea that video brand advertising can be simple, the enticement for creators to participate is that much bigger. If sales happen at a decent clip, I imagine there will be a lot of enthusiasm from creators, and early adopters will be poised to capitalize the most.”

“It was something of an inside joke that while every successful commercial filmmaker wanted to get into Sundance, every Sundance filmmaker we knew wanted to break into commercials.

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