Making mobile movies in the cloud
At the moment, ShotClip is an entirely web-based software solution, but iOS and Android solutions are on the way, allowing users to build stories on their smartphones
Start-up Nation ShotClip:Dublin-based firm has a new approach to film-making software
ShotClip wants to turn us all into moviemakers.
From actual film enthusiasts to those who think framing a shot may have something to do with snooker, the Capel Street-based start-up is hoping to help.
Led by founder Conor McNally, the company is set to launch both iOS and Android apps this summer to complement the online beta version of their video editing product.
In addition, the ShotClip tool – currently available for free as a cloud-based web application – is set to move towards a “free-mium” pay model in the coming months, where users can pay for extra features and enhanced video quality.
For his part, McNally is confident that after more than three years of hard work, profitability won’t be long in coming, with predictions of annual revenues reaching €3 million by 2015.
The ShotClip model is based, McNally says, “on building your own story”.
Recording and editing
“Traditionally, to be good at moviemaking, you need to be good at two things: recording and editing video. But, unless you go to film school you’re going to be pretty crap at recording video; you won’t know how to frame a shot and so on,” he says.
When it comes to editing, many will struggle even more, he adds, so ShotClip attempts to navigate this problem by giving users a guided framework to help build the story – breaking down scenes, shots and editing techniques to make it easier to create the video package the end user wants to produce.
“If you go to an event you’ll actually be thinking about building a story to go with it and getting the ‘before, during and after’ like any good movie,” says the company founder. As the user becomes more adept at using the tool, they can edit and customise the guidelines themselves.
McNally – who has a background in electronic engineering – has been working on the idea since the turn of 2010, after gaining angel investment on the strength of the concept alone.
It was then released as a “wedding only” product at the end of 2010, though the company founder says constant queries as to why it was limited to this market made ShotClip quickly change direction.
“We had to open it up,” he said, and soon after this decision, he repackaged the product to be used “whenever the user feels like it”.
Dragons’ Den member and SOSventures chief Seán O’Sullivan came on board as an investor and the new product was launched online in June last year, with the company also becoming part of Enterprise Ireland’s “High Potential Start-Up” (HPSU) programme.
Since then, McNally – who works alongside a full-time developer and graphic designer who doubles up as the companys marketing lead – has been able to see how users interact with the tool, allowing the company to iron out any kinks in the software before launching fully.
The fact that it’s web-based means it’s not as processor intensive as on-board video editing software packages, while its collaborative nature has been popular with clients too.
On the latter point, McNally says.
“It’s one of the advantages of being on the web, you can invite people to your project and everyone who has footage or photographs of the holiday, wedding or whatever event it is can upload them and make a movie.”
The ShotClip app will also be able to sync with online accounts, allowing users to shot, upload and edit on the move. It too will have a free version and a premium package with additional tools.
The ShotClip app is the main focus of 2013, admits McNally, though the company has also just begun a 12-week LaunchPad accelerator programme with the National Digital Research Centre, where mentoring, workspace and investment are provided.
“The app is the key though,” admits McNally.
“If you’re at a rock concert, on a ski holiday or whatever you’re doing you can be actually filling up your story on the smartphone. That whole concept of building your story becomes a lot more powerful and relevant if you actually get to record and edit it on an interactive app that helps you create the story in the moment.”