"Tugg: the movies you want at your local theatre."

Disruptive innovation is any innovation “that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, thereby displacing established market leaders and alliances.”

 (via Wikipedia)

I recently posted the very first in our Dauntless Spirit series of posts; today I’m happy to have another angle on a different kind of creativity and innovation. This is our first post devoted solely to disrupters. We’re privileged to have worked with more than a few at Dauntless, but plenty more keep on coming to our attention, week by week.

So what exactly do I mean by disrupters, I hear you ask? 

By that I mean all those who are perfectly happy to tear up the status quo. People who see limitations they don’t agree with, but then – and this is the important part – use their talents/ creativity/ drive/ all of the above do something about that pesky status quo.

Tugg are a great example of this. They’re a start-up, united around a shared love of film, who wondered how technology could be used to help the medium better serve both filmmakers and fans of film. In a nutshell, it’s a web platform that enables individuals, groups and organisations to set up personalised screenings, wherever they may be. Totally free of the constraints of film licensing, which can get really onerous if you want your film to enjoy an international audience! 

Out of their passion, the Tugg team decided that – when it came to the state of film distribution – enough was enough. In particular, the purely profit-driven model was getting more than a little stifling. Blockbuster after bigger blockbuster, after yet another Avengers film, and so on and so forth, is generally all that a lot of folks expect from their local cinema. Yawn...

Conversely, arthouse and indie films can be downright difficult to find. In the face of this, Tugg have made it their mission to empower community-driven events – i.e. fan community film screenings – thereby turning social interest into action, and events that passionate film lovers are able to attend.     

The message is simple: disrupt, or be disrupted.

Cut to how I discovered Tugg earlier this year:

It was late January, and I felt like going to watch Lazer Team – an American Action-Sci-Fi-Comedy-Type. Made by a growing production studio called Rooster Teeth, from Austin, the film’s profile unfortunately wasn’t on the same kind of scale as something like Antman. Therefore, this was a film I was sure wouldn’t be making it over to UK screens. Luckily though, some friends found out it would be playing, at just one solitary screen in the whole of the UK: the Prince Charles Cinema, just off Leicester Square, in Central London. And it was all thanks to “this new thing called Tugg.”

Getting hold of tickets was simple enough: all we did was sign up, request seats, and pay for our booking. Then we sat back and waited to see if our particular screening passed the threshold in terms of attendants. This is where Tugg leverages the kind of crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding dynamic we’re seeing a lot of nowadays: any screening that passes its threshold in terms of paying attendees, and it goes ahead. And in my opinion, that’s what makes it so cool: if there is passionate community who want to enjoy a film as it should be enjoyed – on the silver screen – that’s no long a problem whatsoever. All they have to do is get together, via Tugg to demonstrate that demand is there.

Luckily enough, our screening did pass the threshold, so before we knew it, some shiny tickets were sitting in my inbox. And then it dawned on me: now, when it comes to a decent evening out at the cinema, it no longer has to be “business as usual.”

And that’s why I love the Internet.