If you’ve explored the Pond5 library, you might have thought, “There’s some amazing media in here, but putting it all together into a finished project seems a little overwhelming.” Fact is, there are plenty of people who say something similar just going through their own phones. That’s exactly what happened to VidMob founder Alex Collmer. “My wife and I were accumulating all sorts of videos and photos of our kids, and frankly didn’t know how to take those raw clips and turn them into things that anyone else wanted to watch — or even that we wanted to watch,” he explains.
A human-based editing app is born
It was that thinking that led to the launch of the VidMob app, presenting a two-sided marketplace (much like our own) that pairs customers with freelance video editors around the world. Using the app, you can upload your media, choose an editor, and have a professional-quality finished video in your hands with minimal turnaround time. And Collmer quickly realized there was more at work here than home videos.
“I started thinking about the fact that, as all of the web really becomes a video platform, it isn’t just about individual consumers,” he explains. “There are 50 million companies now that have a presence in social media and the platforms that they communicate on are quickly becoming video networks. Facebook for example — if you write a word-based or even photo-based post, their algorithm punishes you for that. Whereas, if you post a video, they actually show it to effectively everyone that follows you.”
Collaboration made simple
Since launching, VidMob has become a quick success, providing a much-need tool for businesses, families, and individuals, while also creating additional work for video editors seeking new projects. And things are rapidly growing. “We’re talking to a number of bigger advertising agencies and some brands,” says Collmer. “One of the things that our platform does is allow you to create collaborative projects — you create a project and then you can share that link out with as small or as large of a group as you want. We did something in the fall where there were 30 or 40 people at a charity boxing match, and they all were able to pool assets. It basically became a 30 or 40 camera shoot. We’re starting to talk to brands now about how they could use that collaborative feature to engage millions of fans.”
As for how the editors themselves join the platform, it’s a simple and seamless process. The company’s Editor Czar, Matt Dubroff, explains, “When you sign up with VidMob as an editor, you put in your basic information, a photo, and a checklist of skills — things like music composition, color grading, basic video editing, title creation — then upload a few of your clips. We have it set up as a marketplace, where different editors will create auto-bids on jobs. They’ll say, for any job that meets certain criteria — let’s say any job with under 20 minutes of raw footage — I’m willing to work on that for X dollars. We have all these auto bids ready to go from our editors, so if you want to make a project, you can go in, upload your media, and immediately see a listing of editors who are available and interested.”
Professional editors at your fingertips
As a customer, using VidMob is also extremely painless, giving you the opportunity to choose an editor you like, as well as selecting the number of drafts and revisions that will be included in the price. “When you start seeing editors, you see their portfolios, five-star reviews, and what other people said,” explains Collmer. “After choosing one, the app starts asking questions like, ‘What’s your vision for this project?’ You can add specific clip-level notes on each individual clip. Then it asks what kind of music you want, and it’s off to the races. From there, it transitions to a workflow management tool, managing drafts back and forth between the editor and the customer.”
“When you’re setting up a project, there are also different categories you can choose,” adds Dubroff. “And when editors upload work into their portfolios, they categorize that as well. If you tell the app you’re making a wedding video, we’re going to use the algorithm to display people with wedding videos in their portfolio, so you can see a range of available options that are really germane to what you’re looking for.”
The future of the demand-based platform
Clearly, with a platform where people are creating compelling media projects like this, the idea of being able to use stock video clips as well as your own files could really add a lot of creative possibilities. And naturally, a Pond5 integration is something the team is already thinking about. “It makes total sense,” says Collmer. “You go into any project, and the idea is that you could add media from your local drive, your Dropbox, but you also have a connected stock repository, and the media there just has a price tag attached to it. Integrating that into our edit suite is an absolute no-brainer. Now that the app’s launched, we can start doing those types of things.”
Meanwhile, the VidMob crew is seeing more and more amazing results coming from the platform. “One of my favorite ones, was a guy from Nashville, I think,” says Dubroff. “He’s a musician. It was just a bunch of his fans and family members in a bar filming vertically on their phones, and him walking around during one of his performances. I looked at the clips and, I’ll be honest, I thought, ‘This is a difficult job. I don’t know how you’re going to turn this into something great.’ The editor put this great black-and-white grainy filter on it and really blended everything together nicely, and it went from being something that looked very hokey to being a very professional-looking music video that this guy is super excited about sharing with his fans.”
“We’ve seen some other cool stuff too,” adds Collmer. “There’s a big advertising agency in Australia that’s actually going to be making a television show through the app, a reality-style show. We’re also talking to a large sports franchise now about using it for the final game at their stadium — to get all their fans to upload their favorite moments over the years and make a documentary of this arena. And we were talking to one of the major film studios about using VidMob to basically do all the editing for a new YouTube channel they’re launching.”
It’s safe to say we’re fans of what VidMob is doing, and especially excited about the way it plays into the Pond5 vision for the future of media making. As it turns out, the appreciation is mutual. “The videos you guys made using entirely Pond5 assets are incredible,” says Dubroff. I would never had thought this was just a bunch of assets that you guys were putting together. It looks so artfully and purposely done. It’s crazy.
To download the VidMob app, sign up as a VidMob editor, or learn more about the platform, visit www.vidmob.com.