How do you choose which movie to watch or buy? Like most people, your friends and family recommend a movie or series coz’ they know what you like. If you are the kind that covers all bases, you will go the extra mile and look for the trailer. But we all know how some trailers are waaaay better than the actual movie. So if you have different tastes from your kin or no one to recommend a good movie, your reference points are minimal.
This is the situation Jotham Makanga usually found himself in. So he decided to do something about it: start a community of movie fans in Kenya who would act as a referral point to other movie adherents. And that’s how Movie Jabber was born.
“Naturally, the first and easiest way to build a community was through a facebook page. But before we settled on Movie Jabber as a name, we had tried pitching a movie review programme under the title ‘Blockbuster’ to Fox (US film maker) but they turned us down,” says Jotham.
Although discouraged by Fox’s response, Jotham and his campus pal (Jared Bila) decided to focus on growing the Facebook group by sharing movie clips, photos and content to his friends. Soon, fans started sharing their thoughts about particular movies and series. It became necessary for Jotham to add two more page administrators to interact and respond to the group members.
“At this early stage, two of my friends, Bright and Chiso, with the same enthusiasm came onboard after I asked them too join as admins of the page. We soon started a blog with me doing the posts and them helping in sharing. With time we upgraded to a website and more original content like our Web-Series.”
“Our next step was to create a website where we could post movie reviews and other related video content. But we needed good videographer and editors to do that,” says the Daystar alumni.
Luckily, Kennedy Keriko and Santah Mukabanah joined Movie Jabber to help with the video production and logistics.”
The whole team, including Jotham, is involved in Movie Jabber because of the shared passion for quality movies and productions. Most hold permanent jobs elsewhere and work on their ‘project’ during their free time.
The Movie Jabber community meets once a month to watch a movie in the theaters as a group. From only five people at their first ‘movie outing’ in February this year, the #TeamJabberExperience (TJ-X) group has grown to more than 30, with 36 fans turning up for the screening of Bourne Legacy this month. The whole purpose, Jotham explains, is to provide a movie experience.
“As a film student and an aspiring movie director, I am concerned about the high levels of piracy in Kenya. But we can do something (about it) by improving the big screen experience,” says Jotham.
Movie Jabber also reviews local movies and TV series, which will provide an important feedback platform for local producers. The team will soon branch out to video and podcast interviews of local actors, producers and directors.
Keep it Capital Campus for weekly movie and series reviews by the team Movie Jabber.