Are you a movie buff who is tired of keeping a hawk’s eye on ticket prices, fed up with the overpriced food and parking woes, or just not in favour of the exertion it takes to go out and watch a movie at a multiplex with a large group?
Or maybe, you are a filmmaker who wants to exclusively premiere a new project to an audience, and want a better viewing experience than a 15-inch laptop screen?
Well, if you live in Bengaluru, you can now rent a professionally-designed mini-theatre with an attached lounge, and watch your favourite films with the people you love, or even showcase your labour of love to them.
Founded by brothers Prashanth and Praveen Udupa in the Girinagar neighbourhood of South Bengaluru, Teriflix offers an unparalleled viewing experience—a 13-seater AC auditorium, 135-inch screen and a 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos sound system—that you can rent on an hourly basis. You can even get your own food and popcorn!
All you have to do is book a slot, log in through an Amazon Prime or Netflix account, and using Teriflix’s high-speed internet connection, watch the show or movie of your choice.
The plush seats and the fantastic vibe didn’t happen overnight. Prashanth and Praveen worked hard and paid attention to the smallest details to make their vision come true.
Speaking to TBI, Praveen said, “The building which houses Teriflix, used to be a software company that Prashanth ran.” There were talks of selling the building, between the two siblings, but those plans got shelved after demonetisation happened. Then the two decided to a float a commercial business venture and those conversations eventually led to the plan of opening a movie theatre. The brothers reasoned that if the venture didn’t work out, at least the family would be entertained.
The seed of what was to become Teriflix was thus planted, and the brothers took over the former office space and gave it a makeover.
“There has to be a personal experience,” Praveen says, explaining that the most crucial aspect of creating Teriflix was to give the viewer an unparalleled movie watching experience.
By August 2017 the infrastructure had been erected, and the commercial launch of Teriflix happened on September 3, 2017. In fact, for one fortnight, they threw it open for free for others to use, and leave valuable feedback.
“We ran around 5-6 batches, with the first batch being my father and his old colleagues, and they watched Baahubali 1 and 2,” Praveen reminisces. He goes on to say they were delighted, as subsequent visitors to Teriflix would be. You can watch what the audience thinks of this initiative here.
Around the same time, something interesting also happened. “Filmmakers started walking in, enquiring whether they could hold a private preview of their movies in Teriflix,” Praveen says.
Now, since this is an entirely different requirement, there are legalities. Praveen explains that with Netflix or Amazon Prime, there is no scope for piracy, but how do you know if a filmmaker is bringing original content, or misusing someone else’s content?
“Well, we came up with a format in consultation with a legal team, which mentions the name of the movie, the run-time and takes a signature from the filmmaker regarding copyright, and requires the producer’s ID proof as well as the Censor Certificate with the producer’s name, amongst others” Praveen says, adding that filmmakers were more than happy to comply with these regulations that guaranteed safety for both parties.
Filmmakers use DCP (Digital Cinema Package) to format movies, so earlier, when they would screen their films at Teriflix, they needed to copy their content onto a device that would make the content format compatible with Teriflix’s players. Well, now filmmakers can play their movies directly, as Teriflix now supports DCP, and allows filmmakers to play their films from their hard drive.
Looking forward, the brothers have some exciting plans for Teriflix, that are as follows:
1. Screening of movies that finish their run in multiplexes:
Praveen explains that producers usually sell satellite rights after the film leaves halls, and this is when the films are played on the small screen. The brothers plan to begin acquiring screening rights and offer private screenings to the general public. Right now, there are 11 movies published on the website and work is on with producers to get screening rights for others.
2. Aggregator Model:
The brothers also plan to work on an aggregator model and expand venues across the city. Since a movie can be watched by 8-25 people in a small space, private screening across the city could open a reasonable market for producers.
3. Subscription Model:
They are also working on a social media screening subscription model. Praveen explains with an example, saying that hypothetically if a customer pays Rs 999 a month, he or she is entitled to watch 30 movies from the Teriflix Library at any of the venues. All that the customer needs to do is visit the Teriflix website, log in, select the movie and screening venue, and show up. For fixed screenings, the date and time of the movie can be published, so all subscribers to the Teriflix social media model will get notifications, and they can choose to attend.
If you visit Teriflix, do let us know about your experience in the comments!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)