SuperU: Video for Cash, or SuperChannel

SuperU, based in Vancouver, is a video site with a competition angle, but with a quite approach than others of the same mold.

Super U is the online venue to watch the latest Canadian short films. Viewers enjoy high quality content, qualified by the viewers themselves. Filmmakers enjoy on-site contests and exposure to broadcasters like Super U’s partner Super Channel, Canada’s national pay television network. As Super U grows, filmmakers will share in the advertising revenues generated on the site. We want to make sure we deliver the best product possible for Canadian filmmakers to showcase their films.

Also on the site, presented in the same format as films, are scripts and scores.

“Sharing in advertising revenues” is a tricky promise, but could prove lucrative if a video were to reach a critical popularity. Exposure to big name broadcasters is arguably more attractive. The contests are structured, with qualified judges and respectable prize money. The business model has a new twist: SuperU will act as a catalogue of media targeted at broadcasters, and charge them to access it. If a broadcaster is interested in a work, any dealing happens directly with the original creator. The site describes itself as a “marketplace” to connect buyers and sellers. Specifically: “We will not take any money from filmmakers for this service”.

Chris from SuperU acknowledged that the site needed some work, and asked us and our readers to “pull no punches” in offering feedback. So, a few quick observations of mine:

The front page of each section doesn’t make good use of vertical space. The language select buttons on the top of every page are unnecessary, consider a text link in a less prominent position. Perhaps consider a rating system with more depth than the traditional five star system; like multiple categories of ratings: cinematography, story, acting, etc. In the scripts and scores section, it doesn’t really make sense to have blank or generic thumbnails, just remove them completely. Lastly and most notably, the video quality, while average for web video, feels a little low for showcasing well-made films; consider increasing it.

Any comments of your own?