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.