News, , , , , , — December 2, 2011 14:41 — 0 Comments

Website takes raw video footage and ‘edits’ into a mini movie

automated film editing

Editing: no substitue for the human eye and a bit of cut and splice?


For some moviemakers, the editing process is the most satisfying part of producing a film, for others it can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating – especially if you don’t know what you are doing.

If you neither have the time or inclination to edit your footage, then ‘help’ of sorts is at hand.

Israel-based startup Magisto will take your unedited video clips and turn them into a short movie by running it through its automated video editing platform.

Of course, this site is not for the pros and any self-respecting ‘smartmoviemaker’ would want to have a hand in editing their footage. Magisto is aimed more at the average user who has neither the time or interest in learning how to edit using complicated software.

“The average person doesn’t edit videos,” says Magisto co-founder and chief executive Oren Boiman. “So they either post long boring videos nobody wants to watch, or they save them on their hard drive — unwatched, unedited, unshared. We made Magisto to give people a way to take their videos and turn them into movies that are fun to watch and easy to share.”

Boiman won’t divulge Magisto’s magic formula, but he says that its proprietary technology is designed to automatically find the best footage in your videos. Magisto, it is claimed, recognizes faces, can detect the difference between people, objects, pets and landscapes, and even capture the intent of the film-maker.

The firm raised $5.5m recently in a second round of funding, suggesting there is huge potential for its service. Surely a mobile app is the next step?

You can upload up to 16 video files, add a title and soundtrack (the soundtrack seemed mandatory) — select from available tracks or add your own — and then sit back and let Magisto work its magic. Voila! An email tells you when the film is ready.

I uploaded a video interview of the digital artist Cory Arcangel, that didn’t turn out how I wanted, even after spending hours trying to edit it into some coherent format. So I thought I’d turn it over to Magisto.

It rejected it, but the video was rather unwieldy at 556K and it kept trying, by rejecting clips and starting again until it got down to 56K and then 28K, but then gave up completely. Other tests have indicated that on average it takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending on video file size.

I will try again with some more footage, if nothing else it is a bit of fun to see the outcome of the edit.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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