Posted on Friday, March 26th, 2010 by Devindra Hardawar
Last September I wrote about the very ambitious startup Anyclip, which at the time aimed to let you find a clip of “any moment from any film ever made.” The site was in beta for some time, and it finally launched a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the company wasn’t able to convince Hollywood studios to let them license any actual films — despite how useful such a service would be for both film lovers and studios — so Anyclip was forced to launch its service without any film clips.
But even without movie licensing (which the company is still actively pursuing), Anyclip is still aiming to help you find other aspects of specific movie moments — in particular, movie quotes.
You can search for quotes (along with other descriptors like actions, objects, movies, and actors) from the site’s main search engine. There are also a few specialized searches, including one that will let you find quotes from specific actors. From my testing, I found that the site does a decent job of finding most memorable quotes — though don’t expect miracles since it has just launched. You can also create a collection of your favorite quotes, actors, and films, after signing up for an account with the site.
I stopped by the company’s offices in New York recently, and the site’s co-founder and executive VP of product and technology Nate Westheimer demonstrated just how popular movie quotes are on the web with a simple Google search. If you type in any movie title into Google’s home page, you’ll usually receive a search suggestion for quotes of that film. Oftentimes the quote suggestion is the first or second entry in Google’s list of suggestions — which tells us that many movie searches are done specifically for quotes.
Anyclip also has other data available about films in the form of tags, which helps the site with picking out movie moments. Tags are simply key words that can better describe specific scenes. They’re useful for linking you to quotes that are similar to the quotes you’re searching for — and in the future they will do the same for clips.
In addition to becoming the ultimate quote and clip search engine, Anyclip is also working on creating pages for specific films and actors that compile other relevant information as well. Movie pages (like this one for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) can feature top moments from the film, the trailer, as well as a variety of production information. Potentially, these pages could help Anyclip become an easier-to-use alternative to IMDB.
According to VentureBeat, the site currently has around 5,000 quotes and data about 2,000 films in its database. It wants to add 3,000 more by the end of the next quarter, and is exploring crowd sourcing options to help collect more quotes and data. As for actual movie clips, its aiming to have 1,000 clips by the end of the year.
To show just how much they love movies, the Anyclip folks recently launched The Moment Project — which is an attempt to get people to document their favorite film moments. There are already several entries available from Anyclip employees, web celebrities, and tech entrepreneurs. You can submit your own favorite movie moment by uploading a reaction to Youtube, and then plugging in the embed code for your video at the project’s submit page.
In my conversations with the folks behind Anyclip, which also included CEO Aaron Cohen, it’s clear that they’re a group that’s passionate about movies. For the site to achieve it’s original vision of giving you access to “any moment from any film ever made” though, the studios need to wake up and license their films to the site.
It’s a better option than letting pirated copies of clips float around Youtube, and the fact that movie clips are so popular around the web should be a no-brainer signal to the studios that there’s money to be made with them.