New Ventures in Making Fun of Bad Movies, and More

Around the time when I was eleven or twelve, I began watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was a great TV show that at the time featured the hapless sap Mike Nelson, and his two robot buddies Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot. Every weekend they would sit in front of some of the worst movies ever created and hurl some of the most hysterically brutal insults at the screen. The stars of that show have continued on years later with their service at Rifftrax.com. I think that they are among some of the best comedic minds out there. I also feel that there is a lot of opportunity in the age of YouTube, mass marketed DVDs, and high speed communications for other people to join in on riffing as a marketing or money making venture.

Firstly there is the issue of competition. It seems like there are only 3 commercial entities I can find on the first page for a Google search. Naturally there is rifftrax, and then there are two other companies, Cinematic Titanic and Riff Raff Theater. The last company utilizes the iRiffs section of rifftrax.com to sell its product. My point here is that there’s a market to be penetrated here for movie mocking enthusiasts who might want to go into business for themselves. Why have your stuff marketed by rifftrax.com when you can go into business for yourself.

I think that probably the hardest part of the venture will be the first steps of getting some one to develop unique software to handle the riffing of blurays or DVDs. Anyone looking to start up on this venture at an affordable should probably look into hiring recent graduate students to help start a simple application. Also have them sign a no compete clause contract so they cannot go to work for one of your competitors on a similar product.

Probably the best ways to do go about marketing your Rifftrax type company would be to firstly hire a web designer, and secondly hire a search engine optimization (SEO) company to help optimize that web site. Most web searches are done on Google, Yahoo or Bing. It is critical to get your business showing up on those search engines. I even submit to you that it is more important than being seen in the phone book. Utilizing search engine marketing is also important. Getting sponsored links on web searches is a great way to increase the visibility of the company. If I do a Google search right now for rifftrax the only thing that shows up is Mike Nelson’s Rifftrax as a sponsored link. Being visible in those areas is a critical way to get your business visible in front of new customers. I think that the third and equally critical component to getting a new type of business seen is utilizing social media. Getting samples, and lots of them on YouTube for a new riffing business’ is critical to expanding the web presence. Having a corresponding Facebook to market your website to fans and friends are great ways to spread virally and retain customers.

I think that Riffing can also be a powerful marketing tool. There are plenty of awful movies that are released in theaters or end up going directly to the bargain bins of multimedia stores. I think that one way to possibly get DVDs of a bad movie sold, or even a good movie, would be to include a comedic commentary track. Let’s face it would you rather buy a used copy of A Few Good men or a copy that included a comedic soundtrack as a feature? I think the latter option sounds more tempting.

One other venture that might be worth looking into is the riffing of video games. I know that one cannot really have a comedic commentary play along side by side with an electronic game, and that is not exactly what I’m suggesting. My idea is that Capcom, Konami, or Square Enix release cheap DVDs marketed toward fans where they have comedians or humorous fans poke fun at the cinematic sequences of their games. This could be done on any number of mediums whether it be DVDs, the iTunes or Hulu Plus. I’m not sure on how good of an idea this would be to bring in a lot of money though. It is a whole new venture though and it should be explored to see if it could be profitable since mocking movies seems to be a money generating business.

MST3k started one of the greatest comedy creations in the history of man kind when it first went on the air. I think that the opportunity to entertain with their style of humor can continue on in a number of other ways. The right person who has the talent to move these core ideas along might help create an even bigger market for fans who love to tear down cheesy movies.