Madeline Potts writes:
You may have not heard of them, but most likely you have watched content from the groundbreaking media company Tongal.
With over 150,000+ filmmakers, Tongal is creating fresh video content that connects brands like Disney and Unilever with new and unique voices — or, as Tongal likes to call them, Tongalers. Through the Tongal platform, creators from all over the world are able to pitch their ideas to the brands they love most — something that an "outsider" to the entertainment industry usually can't do.
I sat down for drinks during San Diego Comic-Con with the co-founder and president of Tongal, James DeJulio. We discussed Tongal's mission, future, and the platform's diverse array of Tongalers.
The best way to describe DeJulio is "warm". With a massive smile on his face he described who Tongalers are: "We like the Venn diagram between super fan and super strong creator." By connecting creators with the brands they love most, DeJulio is opening the door to unique and bold voices that aren't usually heard. Not only this, but his goal is to elevate all different kinds of creators:
"We're a content company that can be used by all sorts of organizations. So whether your goal with content is that you want to create something that looks like an ad, great. If your goal with content is to create an animation with 'Stargate' or content in the 'Alien' universe, that's great. Whatever you want, we will do."
Tongal visited San Diego Comic-Con 2018 to announce their brand-new partnership with Stargate Command, MGM's service for all things related to the Stargate franchise. With the help of Tongal, Stargate Command will be bringing new and exciting content to the Stargate community. At their panel on Thursday Stargate Command Editor Kieran Dickson explained how their partnership with Tongal will further the Stargate story. "We can start engaging with fans directly, and fans can actually start shaping the stories we tell — it just fits perfectly."
With a community of Tongalers that's over 50% women, Tongal is elevating voices that are oftentimes not heard in the entertainment industry. According to DeJulio, "That's one of the things I'm most proud of." Tongal accepts the work of all voices regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, or experience. "I don't care what you look like or how old you are. We have successful members who are 13 and who are 60."
So what does the future of Tongal look like? DeJulio explains:
"I want to start to own more of the creator ecosystem, so if you are an actor or a DP you can find an opportunity on Tongal. I really want them to have cross-pollination between each other and connect. That, to me, is when online communities start to take off."
For more information on Tongal and their current campaigns, visit tongal.com.