*Allen Maldonado is known for his performance on “Black-ish” and his writing chops on “Survivor’s Remorse,” and now he’s set to join the tech industry with his new app Everybody Digital. It’s the first mobile app focused on globally curated short-form content.
“It gives the little man an opportunity to shine in a way, because we don’t have a $40 million or $100 million budget to do a 145-minute film. We can find a way to make 5-minute film and showcase these talented individuals,” he explained to EUR/Electronic Urban Report.
“You can download the app for free and you’ll have unlimited access to a number of films and series.,” he said.
“Every time I mention it to filmmakers and consumers, it’s one of those light-bulb moments like, ‘Oh, wow. Why didn’t anybody else think of that?, ‘ and that has been conformation as far as providing a service that people will enjoy.”
“We’ve been curating films around the world. We’re going to be launching with over 50 films and five original films and two original series. We’ll announce original films throughout the calendar year. Again, the response that we’ve been getting from our filmmakers and the people that have been anticipating in this app has been incredible.”
Allen himself stars in and serves as producer on several of the original projects featured on Everybody Digital, including one with Deon Cole from ‘”Black-ish.”
“I’m hands on with pretty much everything, as I’m the executive producer of pretty much 100 percent of our original content. But I’m teamed up with a lot of the creative — writers, different directors. We’ve got about two production crews working around-the-clock. We’re shooting a short film a month, and we’re shooting an original series every other month. So we definitely have the machine rolling in order to satisfy our subscribers. We want to keep them with fresh content every month.”
Check out the rest of our Q&A with Allen Maldonado below.
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How does Everybody Digital work for short filmmakers and their stars?
ALLEN: Our submission is very simple. 90% of our films come from online applications. Filmmakers go to everybodydigital.com and submit the film and the online application, and there you have it. Now, this is an exclusive app. Not everyone will be on the app. It’s not like a YouTube or anything. It’s more of a short-form version of Netflix where we want the best of the best. We want to represent short films in a way that they’ve never been represented.
New filmmakers are curious to know if people still want to see short films. Why are short films still essential?
ALLEN: I believe they’ve been the most under utilized genre in the entertainment industry. Meaning that, all these other genres have evolved over the years, such as film, animation, music videos and commercials have expanded and evolved over the years, and short films have yet to evolve. I think with the change in technology, as people are consuming shorter and shorter content, short films are the grandfather of what people are aiming for now — such as the Instagram videos and short clips.
90% of Millennials consume so much content through their phones. It makes it more realistic for someone to watch a film that is 10-minutes long on their phone, rather than holding their phone for an hour and forty-five minutes. So being able to look at the landscape and look at where entertainment is going, which is to your phone, I believe short films will be one of the highest sought after genres in 5-10 years.
In terms of just the fundamentals of filming, does the app offer tips or advice to creators about how to fix some common mistakes?
ALLEN: We have a bi-monthly Everybody Digital magazine, where we’ll be featuring short filmmakers. We will have tips for short films. We will definitely have the pros and cons and people taking about the trials and tribulations of short filmmaking, and also the joys of short filmmaking.
In terms of your branding and curating efforts, how are you working with film festivals to discover talent and content? You mentioned the Sunscreen Film Festival, are there any others you’ve partnered with?
ALLEN: We just recently got a partnership with the NBC Short Film Festival. We’re continuing to build our relationship with these festivals, as they know short films are very popular in that particular world, and we’re looking to expand on that. With Everybody Digital, we’re bringing these short films to everybody. This is something that has yet to be done — a showcase for a lot of talented individuals, where after 12 to 15 months of a film festival run, it’s over. The ride is over and that’s kind where the app came from.
I created a short film and it went on to win several awards and got into a number of film festivals but after that 15 month run, it was over. It was no real home or platform that really showcases and brings a broader audience to my film. And that’s what Everybody Digital is set to do. These filmmakers…. even if it’s 10, 15, 20 years old — are still phenomenal films and the people haven’t had the opportunity to see it, they don’t attend these festivals. So I want to give a spotlight and broaden the audience of the short film genre.
Lastly, I know you’re set to co-star opposite Tracy Morgan in a comedy at TBS, and Jordan Peele serves as EP. What can you tell us about it?
ALLEN: We start shooting at the end of May, and I’m very excited. The show is going to be incredible. It’s going to be incredibly funny. Everybody knows Tracy Morgan is hilarious and Jordan Peele has definitely laid his foundation of his legacy. I’m excited to join the party and contribute to the great things that they’ve already done. I’m more anxious than anything to just get out there and play with these guys. I’m excited because TBS, they got one.