#FaveFail from Mandy Berry of Cinegi


In 2011 my business partner and I embarked on a hugely ambitious project called Smart Entertainment/Interesting Stuff with a vision to create wider access to more content. We planned to develop and launch an offline platform and player for the public exhibition and home consumption of film with content and partners from 4 territories and to develop new audience engagement and business models.

We went to technical developers that we knew and who were very well respected internationally in the world of TV broadcast and we had an international key team member who brought a great understanding of how distribution and finance worked in the world of film.

The project, however, was unwieldy, the technical partner didn’t deploy sufficient resource and we were on a massive learning curve. The year ended without a viable product, tons of admin in managing partners and complex funding and a falling out with our international partner that resulted in financial loss for us. It could have been a disaster but it wasn’t.

The positives were that we had tested our ideas, we had developed a set of legal and commercial frameworks and processes and we had learned more than we could ever have imagined. We learned that to go forwards we had to focus on the core proposition that was special – the fully digital secure distribution of filmed media over the public internet as download enabling anywhere to be a ‘cinema’ and forget all the other bits like VoD. We were able to work with a couple of the individuals involved in the tech team who had gone on to set up their own businesses and understood what we wanted to achieve.

We had met lots of other people who could help us on our journey, we learned not to give up and in short, we realised that we had developed a proof of concept for a digital distribution service that came to be the basis for building Cinegi, the service that we now run today.