About this project
Widebeam Digital and straight 8 are partnering to make the world's first in-camera-edited movie-making app.
We are creating a high-end video app to appeal to cinephiles and the app community at large. Professional, amateur and first-time filmmakers will be brought together as a community of people making and sharing films in this unique way.
Since 1999, the international short film competition, straight 8, has challenged people everywhere to make a film on a single cartridge of super 8mm cine film, editing only in camera and allowing no post-production. This means only one take of each shot and all shots must be taken in chronological order. There's no cheating as straight 8 gets your cartridge processed at the lab for you.
Successful films have been shown at straight 8's annual premiere at Cannes Film Festival for 10 years and also showcased online and on TV. Super 8 is a film medium created in the 1960's. Each cartridge lasts 3 minutes 20 seconds and the processed spools would be played back on a projector... often aimed at a sheet on the wall, with the lights out, usually with your Dad swearing a lot.
Now Widebeam Digital are working with straight 8 to produce an app based on the ETHOS of straight 8, rather than the super 8 element of straight 8.
Using the 'everyman' cameras of today - the iPhone/iPad/iPod - the straight 8 app enables the discipline of starting and finishing a short film without the opportunity for editing or post-production!
The whole film, up to 3 minutes in length, will be created, finished and ready to be shared - all within the device. With a myriad of camera control features, built-in looks and music to choose from, the app offers a huge array of exciting possibilities for iOS device-wielding cineastes. Yet at the same time, it is simple enough to appeal to anyone wanting to fire up the app and document anything - be it a party, weekend trip with friends or whatever!!
SD and HD versions of your film will be created and ready to share into the app's own community and the world at large.
A competition feature for the app is planned eventually, to emulate the original super 8 competition of straight 8.
As you can see from our video and screenshots we have managed to create a decent working prototype. We needed to check it was possible and the best way to start planning it was to start to build it.
We need your help to enable us to finish the app to the high standard we'd all expect and want. There is no short cut to this, it requires significant numbers of hours by a number of great coders, designers, testers etc. to make it unbreakable and brilliant.
We need to make it more user friendly than it currently is and more backwards compatible with older (and slower) iPhones and iPods, so more users can benefit from the app.
The funding will work two fold, as well as helping us financially, the extra pool of hungry Beta testers will help us enormously with building on what we have started. We want to listen and respond to suggestions for camera techniques, functionality, video looks and combinations.
Overall we want the app to be the most exciting, inspiring and creative film-making app there is - think Instagram but where they deal in single JPEGs, we are dealing with 3 minute HD and SD movie files!
All of this requires investment, and with some funding to help us, we can achieve everything we set out to do - plus make new friends along the way...
Risks and challenges
Everyone involved in creating this app is a filmmaker and we want the film-making community out there to be excited about it. Creating an stand-out app of a standard we all feel excited about is our goal and this is quite a task in the amazing app marketplace.
We're putting some very ambitious features into the app and with the file sizes of modern Apple iPhone and iPad video footage, this is no mean feat. We want the app to be intuitive and fun for experienced and novice filmmakers alike and it has to be 'unbreakable'.
Widebeam Digital has a reputation to uphold, having created highly successful apps for and with Aardman Animation and Hat Trick Productions and more. Hence we all have a reputations at stake, as this could determine the future survival of the company - you're only as good as your last job! And projects like this that are created from inside a company for the love of the idea, and not commissioned, must be stand-out ideas and demonstrate the strengths of our relatively small company.
Likewise straight 8 has earned cult status in the indie film-making community with its super 8 challenge which started in 1999 and has just celebrated 10 consecutive years at Cannes. There are many hardcore straight 8 filmmakers that may see this as sacrilege to the spirit of the movement and so its a risk to 'go digital', when the original was so analogue. It needs to be the perfect complement to the successful analogue competition and equally beguiling.
Together we need to ensure that this is a world class app that is instantly loveable and infinitely useable. An app that people will want to download, will enjoy using from the get-go, will be thrilled to explore further, will talk about and will share a myriad of amazing original material within.
There are no short cuts to this. It's hours and hours and hours of coding and testing and writing, designing, re-writing, re-designing. As the expression goes... it takes years to become an overnight success!
Since we all started working together on this app it has grown disproportionately in scale, complexity and ambition. All three of us, Ed, Joe and Paul come from the film and television industry and have worked in demanding conditions all over the world, filming diverse subjects and dealing with everything imaginable. With our unique skillset we have already overcome some tough hurdles and we know there are a lot more to come. We are ready to relish the challenge and we hope you want to come along for the ride by backing us.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story.
Ed, Joe & Paul
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