The world of online content for films and TV is exploding with providers like Netflix and LOVEFiLM dominating the marketplace, without always putting deaf customers first. Andy Palmer caught up with Shaun Sadlier recently to find out about his plans to launch Films14, an online TV service with 100% subtitled and lots of signed content, especially for deaf people.
Hi Shaun. What inspired you to start Films14?
A few years ago, I used to hire LOVEFiLM DVDs and discovered something exciting called LOVEFiLM Instant but unfortunately there were no subtitles available. I checked Netflix out too during that time and they had no subtitles. So, I continued with LOVEFiLM DVD until I received three DVDs in a row without subtitles available, which I paid for.
It make me feel so frustrated but a little bit glad about Netflix when they started showing some content with subtitles. Then I joined Netflix and cancelled LOVEFiLM. Video Streaming started to grow rapidly. BlinkBox, LOVEFiLM, Netflix and many smaller ones all video streaming. None of them showing 100% subtitles in the UK. They don’t think about deaf, deafened or hard of hearing access.
Also, I recall ‘Jericho’ a show on Netflix and one episode had no subtitles when the rest did. I asked them so many times and for many weeks to fix this issue. They failed.
One night, we were all exciting to watch movies on Netflix but couldn’t find any movies with subtitles which made me feel so stressful to the extent it spoiled the enjoyment, I lashed out ‘Flaming useless!’ I said. “I can do better than that.” Then, suddenly, I thought this is a great opportunity to start out my own video streaming business to provide 100% subtitles and eventually an in-vision signer.
The work is just like a mountain and I am a climber. One step a time to reach the top. Whatever it takes, there is no going back down and I will achieve on every step.
You’ll be competing against big names like Netflix who offer lots of subtitled content – what’s you edge over the competition?
Netflix is already a giant and been in business since 1997. But Films14 is unique as we will provide 100% subtitles and they don’t have in-vision signers and never will. Also, our company policy is that we WILL NOT provide movies without subtitles. One day, we will be as big as Netflix and that’s our aim.
What’s your background? – you must be a pretty smart guy!
Thank you for your kind comment. I am a thinker, good at problem solving, love extreme sports, love to share, reading books, having fun, love watching movies with my wife and kids. I am so passionate about Films14 and want it to succeed, then we can all enjoy watching movies with 100% subtitles on any device with a screen.
How much investment will you need and how confident are you that you’ll get there and how do we know you won’t just move to Brazil!?
We need £100,000 for Films14 Limited to start up and I will do everything to reach the target because it is a unique business. It is in a niche market and I love this company.
I am confident it will be successful because I am getting lots of positive feedback about this company. If we fail we will try again and again until we succeed.
Brazil? Hahaha! I work so hard to achieve many things with Films14 Limited and I want to have the world’s best access in the video streaming market. When it goes well in the UK and then we will go into the international market. Why should I throw that fantastic once in the lifetime opportunity away? It is my dream and I love it!
If Films14 has inspired you – Shaun has set up a page where you can invest in the business. Find out more here
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