“When we founded PJs and Pixels nearly two years ago our number one priority was to exploit the popular niches we knew and loved so much,” PJs and Pixels founder Neko Sparks exclaimed. “We love Marvel movies, anything sci-fi, and of course everything creepy,” he continues and with that the little streaming platform that could was born.
Founded in March 2018 PJs and Pixels set out to stream content to fans of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. From the beginning PJs and Pixels had been a labor of love for Sparks and his partners. They are a collective of “nerds,” as Sparks describes them that set out to bring the types of stories they loved as kids to the small screen. “While the original team comes from various industries, such as tech and commerce, the majority of us work in the entertainment industry in Hollywood. We collectively have worked on big budget productions for every major studio in Hollywood from Disney to Warner Bros.,” Sparks espouses enthusiastically. “But what drove us was a love for quirky genre stuff, that was our common bond.
As kids we were the comic nerds that waited eagerly for the latest version of Spider Man or Super Friends to play on Saturday mornings, and was glued to the television screen just in time for the weekly episodes of Wonder Woman or the Six Million Dollar Man… and Star Wars, forget about it, we lived at the local complex, granted this was all before “on-demand.” We were fanatics, and…” Sparks adds with a laugh. “We just never grew up.”
This love for genre is definitely clear in the programming choices you’ll find on PJs and Pixels, from the whimsical animated short in the vein of Coraline about a quizzical child that asks a question so big it will take a lifetime to forget to festival darling and LGBTQ horror film Nightcap about a stalker that sets his sights on easy prey and gets much more that he’s bargained for, lovers of genre fare will definitely find their fix on PJs and Pixels. “Horror? Check. Sci-fi? Check. Superheroes? Check. We like to program the types of movies and shows we truly love and admire, and… we love the indy stuff, those bold stories with engaging characters and subject matter the studios won’t dare touch. Our content creators are a diverse bunch with different stories to tell, stories that come from very different places than those the Hollywood movie machine produce and that makes it fun.” Fun indeed.
One of PJs and Pixels latest acquisitions is an off-beat road trip horror comedy titled Texas Death Trippin’ Ax-tended Cut starring Billy Blair of Alita Battle Angel, Sin City, and Machete fame. “We give content creators a home where they can create freely and viewers a platform where they can experience genre films like no other.” One might be inclined to ask how does PJs and Pixels hope to compete with the glut of streaming services already out there, not to mention new ones popping up what seems like daily? “I think our core strength,” Sparks reiterates, “is our ability to adapt to what the marketplace and stream content that viewers want to see.”
Case in point, the PJs and Pixels team recently tapped into a growing sub-genre known as “Pandemic Horror” and exactly what is “Pandemic Horror” one might ask? Pandemic Horror are those short-form horror films that are made with iPhones and no crew. “They can be downright creepy and just as engaging as any horror film released by a major studio.” It is this ability to adapt to the marketplace that has fueled PJs and Pixels growth. With minimal marketing budget, “We don’t have millions to promote a home release like Netflix or Hulu does,” Sparks adds, and strong word-of-mouth PJs and Pixels is able to hold its own against the “big boys” as Sparks likes to call them, “We must continue to innovate and find new ways for audiences to discover us.” And he is holding true to his word. His subscribers and content creators are diehard fans of the platform’s modus operandi and are a key reason why they are succeeding in a crowded marketplace. Caring not only about the fans, but also the content and the creators that created it clearly sets them apart. Sparks emphasized on more than one occasion that when content creators succeed then PJs and Pixels will also succeed. “We have no desire to throw up a bunch of content in the hopes that something works.” In fact, each of Pjs and Pixels’ titles are carefully curated and then added to the site if it’s a good fit for their core audience. Fans speak, they listen. “From the start we’ve had everything working against us… we’re black owned, work outside of the Hollywood system, and stream content that would not be considered mainstream,” according to Sparks, still they are succeeding and a big part of that is the fans. Still, even with all this, Sparks still has a couple of more arrows in his quiver: interactive entertainment and podcasts.
In addition to the movies and shows offered on PJs and Pixels, subscribers can take advantage of groundbreaking interactive comic books and series such as the hit urban superhero series Chosen Kin. “Our whole idea in partnering with Pixel Lime was to be able to bring our characters to life for our subscribers and do so in a truly interactive environment.” Other interactive titles such as The X Species and It Comes, a Swedish horror thriller, are also available for streaming. As for the upcoming podcasts? They are scheduled to premiere sometime in early August.
About PJs and Pixels:
PJs and Pixels is a premium streaming video service for sci-fi, comic and horror fans with curated programming including independent films and interactive entertainment. PJs and Pixels’ library continues to expand and is available ad-free and for unlimited viewing on our website, mobile apps for iOS and Android, FireTV, Apple TV, and the Roku platform. Subscriptions are available for $3.99 monthly or $19/year. To sign up or learn more about PJs and Pixels, visit https://www.pjsandpixels.com/
You can also follow us on social media at:
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.