Remember when E.T. points his glowing finger? Or, when frogs rain down in Magnolia? Thanks to a deal between Universal Pictures and the Israeli company AnyClip finding memorable movie moments is about to get much easier.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Universal has become the first major movie studio to license parts of its library to AnyClip, a company that specializes in digitalizing films and making every moment searchable.
Financial details of the deal were not reported. AnyClip says it is also negotiating with other major studios.
AnyClip built a search engine that allows users to key in the attributes of a scene and watch it directly in their browser.
Speaking to Israel21c in 2009, co-founder Nate Westheimer – who has since left the company – explained it like this: “If you’re a fan of the movie The Sixth Sense and like the scene where Bruce Willis is talking to the kid’s mom in the living room – but not really having a conversation, since Bruce Willis is really a ghost – you could type in ‘Sixth Sense’ and ‘living room scene,’ and you’ll get the clip you’re looking for. And if you’re a fan of living rooms on film in general, just type in ‘living room’ and you’ll get a full array of living room scenes.”
Universal says the deal is aimed at introducing the movies to a new audience.
“Part of the value I see in AnyClip is this deep meta-tagging of the film,” said Sam Nouri, Universal’s senior manager of clip licensing. “We’ve not had a viewpoint into the films like this before. It’s less of a curator experience and more about letting users have the power to find their favorite moments from their favorite movies. That’s breaking new ground.”
AnyClip CEO Oren Nauman said each movie is tagged with 5,000 unique elements like character, setting, dialogue, behavior and the sorts of objects in the various scenes. The company uses its proprietary technology as well as human movie-watchers to figure it all out.
“This licensing agreement with Universal leads the way in changing how businesses and consumers will interact with film content,” said Nauman. “We allow viewers to access any moment of a film at any time and to share it with anyone.”