Hollywood, MIT & Silicon Valley Join Forces To Create Film Recommendation Engine, FilmFish

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Lioness Staff

Hollywood, MIT & Silicon Valley Join Forces to Create Film Recommendation Engine - Lioness MagazineFilmFish is a film recommendation app created by Topher Grace, Joyce Kulhawik, Simon Borrero, Daniel Posada and Phil and Donald Sull from MIT.

They aimed to create the world’s best movie recommendation engine. The catch? They didn’t spend a dime on their algorithm.

Here’s the issue, let’s say you watched “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” It doesn’t mean you want to watch Adam Sandler’s new western movie. The founders of FilmFish believe that algorithms still don’t get it when it comes to movies.

Now there’s FilmFish, the first movie recommendation engine to rely on film-buffs, not robots, to make their suggestions.

FilmFish started with a business plan competition idea for a humanly curated art recommendation service. Amazon Art had just launched, and we found the beta recommendations we put together using a team of art-history majors beat out their recommendation algorithm hands down. From there the question was, how do we apply this to a viable online market? We had our doubts about online art sales,” cofounder Phillip Sull said.

Through investor Daniel Posada, an impressive young producer with 15 film credits to his name at only 31 years old, Sull and his team linked up with actor Topher Grace. “He gave us the introduction to Topher and we hit it off from there,” said Sull.

How FilmFish Works

The team has expertly curated recommendations for over 15,000 movies, capturing the essence of why people love the films they do.

Lioness CEO Dawn Leaks reviewed the app and found it outworked any other film recommendation means she’d ever utilized. “One of the biggest frustrations I have when I go to watch movies on Netflix is finding a movie to watch. Go figure right? You would think with all of the information they collect on your watching habits that the recommendations would be amazeballs, but they’re not,” Leaks said. “Inevitably, I end up going to Google and searching ‘good movies to watch’ along with the current month and year. Then I read about four or five different list/blogs titled either ‘The 100 Best Movies on Netflix” and insert the year or ‘The Best Movies on Netflix Right Now” and hope that the writers’ taste is somewhat similar to mine. On a good day it takes me at least 30 minutes to find a movie to watch. It’s ridiculous. And if I’m watching a movie with someone else? Ugh … it can be downright painful. Enter FilmFish. My sister and I sat down to watch a movie on Netflix and instead of going through the painful process I just described, I checked my FilmFish account and in a matter of minutes, my sister and I had decided on a movie and were happily watching.”

filmfishLeaks said she loved the app’s easy set up and the way they categorize movies. They have the typical broad categories like action, comedy,  romance. There are also sub categories like High-Octane Action, Raunchy Comedy, Best of Romance. “But then they break the categories down even further for you with really cool sub categories like Truly True Love Stories, Tarantino-Esque Action/Crime and RomComs Men Will Like,” Leaks said. “You can also sort the movies by ‘free for me’ and they only show you the movies from the services you have, so for me it shows me movies that are on either Amazon Prime or Netflix when I select that option. I love it. This app has completely de-stressed the entire movie watching process to me.”

Each one of their recommendations is hand-picked by an expert film buff who aims to capture the essence of why you love the movies you do. In surveys, 75 percent of users agreed with Leaks and said they prefer this approach to the competition.

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