Web Made Movies – bringing film and the web together

Posted April 13th, 2011 by ingrid

As filmmakers you may not think that HTML5 has much to do with you but a quick perusal of Mozilla’s Web Made Movies may convince you otherwise. Web Made Movies is an open video lab, working to produce a new cinema that works like the web. To do this they have developed Popcorn, an HTML5 video framework that allows you to incorporate elements of the web (like Google Maps, Twitter, Wikipedia and Flickr for example) with your videos. Popcorn provides a simple API for synchronizing this interactive and immersive content through an open source JavaScript library that you can get here. If you’re thinking “what the hell is JavaScript?” then have no fear – you can use Butter, a graphical user interface for Popcorn that you can use without any knowledge of code whatsoever. Just be aware that this is all currently a work-in-progress and Butter is somewhat buggy and unintuitive (for now). It’s going to be game-changer soon though I think.

I attended Buttercamp a few weeks ago, a day long event that brought together developers and and filmmakers to work on Popcorn/Butter (geddit?!) stuff together. It was incredibly exciting to see what people could come up with in a single day and it reinforced my belief that filmmakers and developers (and designers) need to get in a room together more often and MAKE STUFF. It frees filmmakers up from the sometimes paralyzingly slow approach to creating and showing work and it helps developers and designers think about the story and impact of their code and design. New ideas and approaches emerge as a result.

If you’d like to read more about the projects at Buttercamp, Web Made Movies project lead Brett Gaylor has written a good recap of the event, as has Anna Sobiepanek.

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