Podcamp Boston’s Visual Suspects session was a moshpit of online video rockstars - Matt Mamet, Steve Garfield, Joselin Mane, Skip Bensley, Robert Collins in the house yo! So I had to pop this question. It’s been bugging me for a while. Not intellectually, but operationally. I didn’t find resolution last Sunday, but online video mogul Steve Garfield chatted me up after the session and we agreed that it’s a lucrative opportunity if you can solve it. Here’s the crux:
For any given client, we might have more than 100 minutes of raw footage coming in every single week. We need to turn that raw material into 30 shorts of about 90 seconds each, as suitable for online video consumption. If average video processing time (on a good day) is 5 minutes for every minute of raw footage, you’re talking 500 minutes of post-production time for every week of serial storytelling. That’s just one client. Multiply this dis-economy over a growing client portfolio and what you have is an industrial-strength assembly line challenge. Or, given the macro market shift to both video (vs. other forms of media) and storytelling (vs. other forms of marketing), what you have is a pretty interesting engineering opportunity with, what else, but social or distributed collaboration networks at its core. Woohoo!
In other words, we want a place (ok, a platform) where we can upload 100 minutes of raw footage every week, write up a creative brief (or the equivalent thereof for video storytelling, which we can address in another post), and crowdsource the finished product of our choice from a marketplace that could include tens of thousands of film, writing, theatre students and indie artists and filmmakers from New York to New Delhi.
Crowdsourcing creative, design, even R&D work is so old Read Write Web’s Josh Catone wrote up this article back in 2008 citing at least 18 startups in the space. But none in video. Of course, that was 2008. Video, bandwidth, and storytelling weren’t where they are now.
So, who’s going to bring us back to the future?