The TechCrunch50 conference is going on right now, and despite whatever you may think of tech titan Michael Arrington, this particular gathering has become a fascinating stage for up-and-coming startups. One startup in particular, AnyClip, should be of great interest to movie fans. They aim to create a search engine to find “any moment from any film ever made.” From their demo (see the video below), it certainly appears that their technology works—the only question is if Hollywood will go for it.
The key to AnyClip’s accuracy is their wide variety of sources for information about films. They pull from public sources (e.g., digging through closed captions and subtitles), but they also have an easy to use interface for manually plugging in data for any film in their database (similar to Youtube’s annotation feature). Right now the manual work is being done by AnyClip workers, but I could see them potentially crowdsourcing it down the line and using data inputted by general users.
There’s a definite need for a service like this. Searching through Youtube is often a nightmarish experience, and Hulu’s catalog isn’t large enough to be all that useful. AnyClip’s success depends on being able to license as much content as they can, and they raise some compelling arguments as to why their service could be beneficial to studios. It allows Hollywood to license short-form content (5 minute segments, as opposed to entire films), plus it’ll add significant value to studio back catalogs where their might not be much interest from people looking to view the entire film.
AnyClip is currently in private beta, but you can sign up for an invite on their site. View their TechCrunch50 demo below: