April 3, 2012

Highlight Hunter is a New App That Aims to Decrease Editing Time with 30 Second Highlights

Editing got you down? Highlight Hunter is looking to make editing certain projects almost 100% faster. You may not be using Highlight Hunter on your next feature film, but there are fantastic ideas at work with this brand new app. If you've ever been filming with a GoPro or FlipCam, you know that there is plenty of unusable or bad footage, and this application aims to give you a way to identify the good shots immediately.

Here's a great photo from the tutorial explaining how this application works:

It seems like there could be plenty of times when the camera gets blocked out inadvertently for more than 1 second, but it's always great to see companies developing ingenious ways of saving us time. This will be a big hit with home movies, where parents or siblings don't want to spend a great deal of time editing together a child's sporting event or some other live event. Of course, that's not going to necessarily be the biggest draw. Extreme sports shooters would benefit greatly from only having to work with the absolute best highlights and being able to remove the 10 hours of nothing immediately. Highlight Hunter is a free app right now, but they will put a watermark on your footage unless you buy the full featured app for $30 a year.

So how does this apply to filmmakers? There are less occasions when we'll need 30 second highlights - but it's certainly possible that for certain projects we will. I could, however, see this type of technology developed in a different way applying to documentary filmmakers - or even narrative filmmakers. Doc shooters could be out on location in a live interview or shooting b-roll and don't want to have to wade through hours of unnecessary footage when they know what they are looking for - and they could set markers in the footage very easily. It could be a bit distracting for sit-down interviews, but if you've got a b-cam, I could certainly see the b-cam operating as the good quote camera. This could also certainly work for narrative filmmakers. If the edit of a particular shoot must happen immediately, there could be a system set up to have the director signal to the camera operator or AC before a take has ended whether they liked the take or not. You could create a marker with a good take and the editor would then be able to see that in post. A similar idea has been developed with QRSlate, but this could be a much simpler and less invasive way.

The most interesting thing about this software is that it will work on any camera no matter what, because it's just relying on the frame being black for a period of 1 second or more. If an app were to be developed specifically for filmmakers, it would also need to work on any camera and editing platform. We're going to see a lot more software like this in the future as digital storage gets bigger and cheaper. I know that personally I tend to let footage roll a little more when I'm shooting digitally because I can always go back and delete it. It will be interesting to see if any NLE companies like Apple or Adobe will develop some sort of system that will recognize markers in a similar way.

Highlight Hunter is available now on both Mac and PC.

Link: Highlight Hunter - Website

[via TechCrunch]

Your Comment


As a camera assistant, it's common practice to stick your hand in front of the lens between action during a rolling take as a visual indicator for the editor scrubbing footage. If this could be tuned to recognize partial covered frames and spit out an EDL... I think it'd be more useful for pro filmmakers in an NLE environment. Woudn't be terribly hard to adapt it as well. Worth bookmarking.

April 3, 2012 at 10:20PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Thanks for the feedback Angelo! Could you shoot me mail at noah [at] highlighthunter [dot] com? I'd like to hear more about your use case and how we can help. FWIW, Highlight Hunter doesn't require total darkness to trigger a bookmark. There is tolerance in there. But we don't yet output EDLs.

April 4, 2012 at 9:34AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


My crew uses the iPad as we are shooting with the marker/notes feature of my QRSLATE app which gets merged into the footage for my editors timeline. Proved to be a huge time saver for our editing.

And http://www.movienotepadapp.com/ is proving very useful also for offline markups, but for the proofing only... I give this to my clients who view a proof which is loaded onto the ipad, then they markup (with notes/drawing) what they want changed/edited for us and send it back to us to do.

I can see this being useful for music clips where there's a billion takes haha.. Where the last take isn't always the best take :)

April 6, 2012 at 3:59AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I have a few issues with QRslate, the first being that most iphone/ipad slates aren't very accurate with timecode, or even the clap itself. Secondly, our editing stations are PC based (I work mostly in-house on our Premiere systems or with another client who is PC/Avid), so they don't support us yet. It's an interesting technology so I'm not denouncing it, but I've mentioned before it'd be fun to see them license the tech to a company that would make a smart slate with an LCD screen just for the QR code so you could have the real clapper and professional level timecode sync.

April 6, 2012 at 1:59PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Hmm, usually for me sifting through gigabytes and gigabytes of raw footage is a very relaxing, meditative experience. its like seeing all of your thoughts spread across the table as little movie clips and then trimming and organizing the ones you like. its tedious, though I guess, but it is something I would much rather do myself

April 4, 2012 at 9:58AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

John Jeffreys

Editing got you down?

Then you're a film maker, not an editor. There IS a difference.

April 5, 2012 at 1:07PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


If you're a professional editor, you're probably not thinking twice about using a tool like this. This specific tool is aimed more at everyday people - I was simply making a point that for filmmakers something similar could be an interesting idea.

April 5, 2012 at 1:18PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Joe Marine
Camera Department

We recently did a review on the software and think its great to be able to just put your hand over the lens in order to get that shot you wanted later on down the line. Easy to use and very time saving!


April 17, 2012 at 7:23AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM