Here at The Cannon, we’re big fans of the little guy duking it out against entrenched powers and coming out on top. David over Goliath. Luke Skywalker and the Rebels over Darth Vader and the Empire. Something about a passionate person achieving victory after operating from a perceived deficit, size, budget, or otherwise, gets us going.

Startups are the obvious little guy in the business world, but we prefer those doing the dance far from traditional hotspots like Silicon Valley and Seattle. Like most places, Hollywood is home to entrenched powers which control much of the movie business. Due to advances, technological and otherwise, the film production industry finds itself open to a new wave of influential underdogs. Here’s a group of five silver screen startups shaking up the scene.


This New York-based startup brands itself as “the cultural AI.” Qloo predicts tastes for specific target audiences and maps the relationships between six cultural categories (music, film, fashion, travel, books, and dining) to provide catered output to its clients.


Overwhelmed by the plethora of options on Netflix? Drowning in your On Demand movie choices? Mubi is perfect for you. Mubi carries a “handpicked selection of the best films for $8.99/month,” removing all that pesky choice.


Founded in Zurich in 2012, Faceshift creates technology that allows animated avatars and other figures to capture a person’s facial expressions in real time. They famously worked on the World of Warcraft feature, bringing millions of gamers’ computer fantasies to the silver screen. Faceshift must’ve done something right, because Apple acquired the group just a fews years later.


Iris TV helps clients (like CBS, Time, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy) use video content to engage viewers longer. The group has developed a tool, dubbed Campaign Manager, that learns from viewer behavior and provides increasingly monetizable video archives.

Magic Leap

Magic Leap provides AI designers the tools to create incredible interactive games and experiences in real world settings. The learning resources and community aspect serve inventive minds of all ages, while the suite of hardware and software tools Magic Leap offers makes the group a viable competitor to even the most technologically advanced AI technology.

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