Are there movie commentaries for streaming services?

Yes, but overwhelmingly the case is that it is not supported on the streaming service itself. As pointed out in a Reddit post on the topic, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Prime, do not offer official extra content like the director/crew commentary, which can almost only be found exclusively on DVDs. This means that if you’re a bit of a film nerd the only way you can scratch that itch is by buying the DVD, even though you may already have that movie or series available to you through your streaming service. It’s like paying twice.

Another particularly disappointing weakness among every major streaming service is the total lack of support for the viewer community. There’s no social interaction or content sharing on those streaming platforms themselves, and in order to do so you would need to go to another platform like YouTube. The issue with this is that it’s difficult to create and share fanmade commentaries or reviews that include a significant amount of the content of the original film, which can lead to copyright infringement claims. It’s well known that YouTube very aggressively acts on these claims, even when these claims are fraudulently made. One popular YouTuber decided to quit creating for the platform after 5 years as a creator because a music label company made a dubious copyright infringement claim on a 200 year old song. Ridiculous!

Not to mention that by having a film or series play on one platform while having commentary played on another platform is a fair challenge in and of itself. It’s an annoying time sink of a process to synchronize the two streams in the first place, and an even more tiresome chore to resynchronize if you have to pause for a bathroom break or to grab snacks. And you may as well forget about fast forwarding and rewinding because that also would require you to resynchronize the two streams.

The good news is you don’t actually have to go through that pain anymore! A new startup called ReVid has been designed and built to solve that issue and provide a much smoother user experience. ReVid is a new platform that allows users to create and listen to community made movie commentaries. Content creators upload audio files to the platform, while users listen to their commentaries and reviews. ReVid includes a browser addon for users that monitors the current runtime of the movie you are streaming and automatically ensures that the audio file of the commentary stays synchronized, even if the user pauses, rewinds, or fast-forwards.

Follow these steps and advice to get started on ReVid, and become a successful creator:

  • Create your ReVid account and setup a creator profile.
  • Prepare the necessary equipment such as a microphone, headphones, and audio recording software, and optional quality improving accessories such as a pop filter or acoustic soundproofing for your walls.
  • Please note that you will very likely need two computers, one to watch the movie, and one to record your commentary.
  • Record your audio commentary for any movie you want that is currently being streamed on a supported streaming service.
  • If this is new for you, just relax and don’t take it too seriously. Staying energetic and confident will project a positive image and is more likely to draw an audience. Remember that if you don’t like anything you can always try again and re record or edit to improve on your commentary.
  • In order to significantly reduce your risk of unintentional copyright infringement, it’s highly recommended that you ensure that no audio from the film you are making commentary for is picked up by your microphone.
  • Publish your content by uploading the mp3 file, creating a tile, and copy/pasting the URL of the movie on whichever streaming services the movie is on.
  • Then you can share the link to your content on social media like Twitter or Facebook.
  • Your listeners can create their own accounts, install the addon, and listen to your content for free!

While ReVid has designed some incredibly new and innovative solutions for creating and sharing movie commentary made by fans and critics alike, the concept of film commentary itself is not new. One of the most popular examples are RiffTrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K), two shows (made by the same team) that are so ubiquitously loved that they have inspired tens of thousands of fans to create their own commentaries, but often with a different style of humor or format, such as CinemaSins and the Nostalgia Critic, and countless others.

With community created movie streaming commentary made more widespread and accessible it encourages growth of diversity within the film community culture. By keeping the content to exclusively the audio file, and playing the movie or series on the other platform, (and synchronized by the ReVid addon), ReVid ensures that your content is significantly less likely to be removed for copyright infringement, presuming that your audio file itself does not include any of the official copyrighted content, just the voice of the ReVid content creator and whatever non-copyrighted sound effects you might use. By creating a more interconnected network of creators and users, ReVid may revitalize fan communities that tend to spring up around cult classics and not widely known movies.

Click here to register your new account! Good luck and have fun!

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