Weber State University offers a free movie service similar to Netflix, but students decide what is in the lineup.
Drew Tyler, digital media professor, came up with the idea after university administrators wanted to start an Internet channel for the school.
“I spent nearly two years looking to solve their two problems. First: content, who makes it, and how do they make enough? Second: if I had enough content to fill a 24/7 station, how would I schedule it?” said Tyler.
Tyler found a company called Residence Life Cinema that offered a solution to both these problems.
“It offered a service to make movies available to students on campus,” Tyler said.
At this time, Weber’s TV station was strictly a news station. Tyler decided to give it a makeover to accommodate the new Internet channel.
“I changed the name of our group from Weber State News, which it had been for maybe 15 years, to Studio 76, to denote that we were a production house making all kinds of content,” Tyler said.
The cost for the movie service is close to $10,000 a year. The school offers $9,000 to Studio 76 for all of its needs a year. The residence life on campus department and athletics offer $4,000 to keep the service going each year.
Studio 76 Executive Producer Danny Rubio said, “Students suggest movies that they would like to see, and we sent it in to the company. Students then can access it at movies.weber.edu, sit back and enjoy.”
Students may submit their suggestions on Twitter @WSUWildcat1 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The movies that recently came out are “Carrie,” “Divergent,” “Godzilla,” “Oculus,” “Shaun of the Dead,” “The Purge,” “The Purge- Anarchy,” “Think Like a Man Too,” “Yes Man,” “Zombieland,” “Blended,” “Earth to Echo,” “Eat, Pray, Love,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Les Miserables,” “Neighbors,” “October Sky,” “Pay it Forward” and “The Amazing Spider Man 2.”
This January, Weber’s on-demand service will be upgraded.
“We’re working on on making the movies on-demand site accessible on mobile devices,” Tyler said. “You can start a movie 20 minutes before class on your phone, then pause it and finish it on your lunch break.”
Tyler and Rubio both advise students to take advantage of the service.
“Watch it! I mean we all procrastinate some sort of homework, why not do it watching movies you like?” said Rubio.
Rubio added that the service was set up with students in mind.
“Use it! It’s your student fee dollars at work,” said Tyler. “And we’re listening! What do you want to see? Just tell us!”