Long, long ago, before the turn of the century, before smart phones, there was a TV show called Mystery Science Theater 3000. The show featured three guys (well, two of the guys voiced-over robots) who are forced to watch poorly made movies. The bulk of the show was dedicating to screening those wretched films while the show’s cast shouted out random comments to make viewership laugh.
While the show has been off the air for over a decade, the cast is still making fun of movies and amusing viewing audiences. These days they offer a site called Rifftrax, where they sell MP3s that you can play along with your own DVDs. I’m a big fan of their show and Rifftrax MP3s (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is one of my personal favorites), but the best part of the site is that you too can make money by making fun of movies.
What is a Riff, Exactly?
Have you ever watched a bad movie with your friends? Since the movie doesn’t grab your attention, you talk throughout the movie, you make fun of the cheesy parts and crack jokes with your friends.
Now create an audio recording of that very experience and you have a riff…
How Does iRiffs Work?
The idea is pretty straight forward. The former Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast has a library of MP3s that are to be played while viewing your DVDs. Those files, riffs, are sold on their website rifftrax.com. Given the cult nature of the show, the site gets thousands of hits from potential riff shoppers.
Since the three-man group can only cover so many movies, they decided to let fans upload their own riffs and sell them on a segment of their site called iRiffs. All you need to do is make an MP3 of yourself making fun of a movie as the movie plays, upload it and set your own price. You are paid for every purchase of your MP3 library and the rifftrax owners take a percentage of the sale.
Recording & Selling Your Riff
The good news is that it is simple to record a riff. All you need is a computer microphone and an audio recording program. Creating a riff is a lot of fun, but it is also time consuming.
Any movie is going to be a few hours long. If you want to sell your audio files, you need to be good at making fun of movies. It may even take a couple of movie views to write up a script. Also, your audio recording needs to sync up and correspond with the action going on in the movie. It doesn’t make for easy editing, if editing is even possible.
Riffs are usually sold for $1 – $2 on the site and you’ll continuously earn money every time one of your riffs is sold.
Having tried to make my own riff, I speak from experience that the work is hard, but enjoyable. If you are good at making fun of movies, this is an opportunity for you to make some money from it.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!