With a recent push in recent years to support local businesses, such as restaurants and retail, Fishers resident Rocky Walls thought it was time people learn to “watch local,” too.
Walls recently created Hoodox, short for Hoosier documentaries, and is the organization’s executive director. Hoodox is the state’s first streaming service with exclusively Indiana nonfiction content.
“Most people have an idea in their mind of when they think of documentaries, and that may be accurate or they may also think documentaries are long or boring or PBS, and all those things are fine, but ‘documentary’ can mean a lot,” Walls said. “Documentary is just a way of saying nonfiction storytelling. Everything on the (Hoodox) platform is documentary storytelling, either by Hoosier filmmakers or about Indiana or both. So, we are sourcing all of these films and curating them from all across the state and putting them on the platform for people to subscribe and watch.”
Hoodox launched June 17 with more than 30 documentaries, including feature-length films and shorts. A monthly subscription is $10 or $100 for a full year.
“We also have two founding memberships, tiers that are above and beyond the subscription that allow people to donate because Hoodox is also a nonprofit organization, and we use the revenue that we generate to pay licensing fees, the filmmakers whose work appears on the platform and the costs to run the platform and promote it,” Walls said.
Walls said he spent a lot of time thinking about the “local mindset” during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The owner of 12 Stars Media, he recently directed a documentary called “Finding Hygge”, a feature-length film exploring Denmark’s secret to happiness, which taught him lots about what it takes to create a film and market it.
“We had read that it can cost as much or more to promote and distribute and market a film than it does to even make the film,” Walls said. “A lot of times filmmakers, especially independent filmmakers in Indiana, they’re finding stories they feel strongly about telling and they put all this time and energy and their own money into telling this story through film, and the best thing they know to do with it or can do is put it online for free on Facebook or Vimeo. The vast majority of people who would want to see it, they don’t know where to find it and don’t know it exists. So, over the summer during the pandemic, I spent a lot of time thinking about the local mindset in general. We were all sort of thrust into this time period where everything was local, and your own neighborhood or own community became a lot more important, and you took more notice of it. The marketing tagline we are using is, ‘You shop local, you eat local, it’s time to watch local.’ Hoodox is kind of born out of that.”
For more, visit watchhoodox.com.