Review – We are Colony Streaming Platform

We Are Colony is a new streaming platform aimed at uniting exciting new filmmakers with their equally passionate fans. Founded by Sarah Tierney the new platform has just launched and as part of its initial offerings it features two films starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

LFThe first is Little Favour-the 20 minute short & premiere offering from SunnyMarch Limited-Benedict’s production company which he has formed along with fellow producers Adam Ackland, Adam Selves & Ben Dillon.

Written & directed by Patrick Monroe and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Nick Moran Little Favour is the story of Wallace (Cumberbatch) whose life is thrown into turmoil when he agrees to do a favour for a friend. Funded by fans via crowdfunding Little Favour is an atmospheric thriller showcasing Benedict’s impressive physicality giving him the opportunity to show off his action man credentials.

Colony features not only the film itself but a huge wealth of extra material. This bumper package of delights includes no less than 19 video clips covering every aspect of the production including casting, locations, origins, make up & sound design. It also includes posters, stills, behind the scene stills & trailers. While the short itself has been available for some time on ITunes the behind the scenes features were only available to those who funded the project (access to such features depended on your perk level) & Colony has extras that are exclusive to it & were not previously available anywhere.

The other Cumberbatch offering on Colony is Third Star.

TSDirected by Hattie Dalton from a script by Vaughan Sivell Third Star featured a host of up & coming talent including Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Burke (The Three Musketeers) and JJ Feild (Captain America). You can read our review of Third Star here 

Unfortunately the film itself isn’t available to stream in the UK (Colony are looking at adding more territories soon). You can buy that on Amazon (region free). Instead Colony has several behind the scenes featurettes on  the film along with deleted scenes & hundreds of stills and behind the scenes stills. A vast amount of this material is brand spanking new and has never been seen before. The new photos (a fairly hefty percentage of which feature Benedict) are lovely and the deleted scenes are fascinating (the scene with Benedict’s character James & the beetle is just delightful).

So how does the site work? Well it’s only just launched so to get access you need to register on the site & wait for Colony to drop you an email with an invite (they’re working like champs to get through everyone as soon as possible). Once you’re into the site you can peruse the offerings relating to the titles they stream. These are somewhat limited at the moment but will no doubt increase (for example they’ll be debuting a new Ben Whishaw short film The Muse in August)

After a short period of time browsing the site a paywall appears & to continue getting access to the materials you need to pay. This paywall operates per title not on a site wide basis. For Third Star gaining full access to the featurettes & pictures costs a very reasonable £1.49 / €1.49 / $1.99 (depending on where you are based). Little Favour costs £3.99 / €3.99 / $5.99. The paywall displays in the currency of your region & payment can be made by PayPal. It was very easy to make payment & acquire full access.

The site is slick & easy to navigate. The videos are HD quality & the stills high res (albeit watermarked).

Given that extras are increasingly becoming a rarity reserved for Blu ray owners (you’re lucky if you get a single featurette & a trailer on DVD releases these days) it’s very exciting to see a streaming service stepping up to offer this kind of material. For Cumberbatch fans the Third Star/Little Favour extras are quite the bounty given a lot of it is brand new and well worth the minimal outlay.

To register for We Are Colony click here & follow @wearecolony on twitter for future updates.