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Romed Wyder • Director

Online films Marketing: the Widget lobby extends the scope

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Romed Wyder • Director

"Create your personalized widget and start a buzz on the web!" we can read on the site Widgetlobby, a new internet space opened by Paradigma Films in Geneva. What is a widget and how word of mouth on the internet? To learn more, we asked the creator Romed Wyder, supervisor of the new tool dedicated primarily to promoting cinema.

How did you get the idea of making available to the independent film industry an internet tool allowing to easily compose widgets for films - shrinking window and gadgets - including text, images, video and sound?
Romed Wyder : It is about two years ago when I discovered Walt Disney’s widget for The Narnia Chronicles, six months before the movie was released, I thought it was necessary to develop this form of communication for young people. People talk about and copy the film widget on their blogs, and so on and so forth. What they copy is actually a link to a server that stores the launch band, the photos, etc. As soon as additional information is introduced by the producer or distributor - for example the release date of a film in a new city - all copies in circulation are automatically updated. Another advantage: a widget is visited inside the site or blog where it is located. Therefore there is no opening of a new window, which makes it better usable.

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Are widgets going to replace the official movie sites ?
No, this is not the goal. It is actually two complementary tools interacting in symbiosis: the widget link points to the film site and the widget itself can be copied from the site. Indeed, the widget must be made available so that internet users can copy it onto their own platform. The starting of the word of mouth is the most difficult part. It is also quite possible to request a media partner to place the widget on its online edition before the film is released.

How did you manage to implement this widget generator?
I obviously had to hire IT professionals to write the programme. Unlike Hollywood studios who invest tens of thousands of euros to create customized widgets for their products, we offer a neutral setting, with a simple menu bar. Then everyone can integrate the information to be communicated and spread.

From your point of view can the word of mouth on the internet increase the movies audience?
Sure! The importance of the traditional word of mouth for the success of a movie is to show up and investing in platforms like Facebook can only increase the outcome. More and more people spend time in front of their screens and they can be encouraged to see a film that is recommended. But if the news denigrates the film it is obviously a disaster!

How the site widgetlobby.com has been developed?
The company Paradigma Films provided all design and development of graphical widgets support, as well as drafting legal documents, and all that took us a long time. Hiring IT professionals to complete the computer program has implied an investment of some importance. These costs have fortunately been covered by the contribution of several partners related to the promotion of the Swiss cinema. The cost of leasing the servers and the management fees of widgetlobby.com should be self covered on the medium term.

What is the fee to enjoy the benefits widgetlobby.com?
Currently we require an annual fee of EUR 9. This is an introductory price that will eventually increase to 99 euros per year. Given the development cost of a widget, this contribution is minimal. In a way, this is a democratization of the online word of mouth. In all cases, it is now possible to use this opportunity without the financial aspect being an obstacle.

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