SF Startup Crowdsources Your Family Video Editing Needs [Updated]

Give San Francisco startup Clipik your family photos and videos and they'll find an editor to turn it into the perfect family video.

These days more and more people are keeping track of family memories – weddings, birthdays, family reunions – through digital photographs and video. The problem? More often than not, these pictures and videos stay on our computers and cameras for years because we just don’t know how to present them and share them – maybe we don’t have the time or know-how to edit the videos on our own, and it’s too expensive to hire a professional to do it for us. That’s where Clipik comes in.

Clipik is a new San Francisco-based startup that crowdsources all your video editing needs. How does it work? Clipik users are invited to upload their raw video footage, photographs and music to the Clipik server and explain their video editing needs including the title, the overall mood or feeling wanted (i.e. Adventure, Action, Drama, etc.), the length, etc. From there, one of Clipik’s freelance video editors takes on the project and delivers your completed video within five days. See more about how Clipik works in the video below.

Clipik videos cost the user between $49 and $199, depending upon the length and elements involved. These prices are pretty affordable for video editing – professional editors often charge at least this much on an hourly basis. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to sustain themselves based upon these prices. After all, Clipik splits the revenue with their editors, and depending upon the amount of time it takes to put one of these videos together they may find it difficult to keep editors on board. I should note that Clipik users are able to send videos back for one free do-over.
So how is this different from services like Animoto that let you create your own video slideshows? Clipik co-founder Pablo Lema said in a post on GigaOM’s NewTeeVee, “These videos are all very similar. It works if the video isn’t important.” Automated videos look like they are made by a computer (well, they are) and they can’t look through your footage to find the most special 5-second moments. Clipik is looking to change that by putting real-life editors with real emotion to work to make sure all the most special moments of your video and all the most special photographs make it in to your final cut.
Check out a couple of examples of Clipik videos below and let us know what you think about the service. Would you pay to have Clipik crowdsource your editing job for you?

Update [March 28, 2011]

Following the original publication of this post on March 23 I had the opportunity to ask Clipik co-founder Pablo Lema a couple questions about the service. Read on to hear what he had to say:

Megan at Social Times: Can you tell us anything about the number of editors you have working for you? I have a picture in my mind of a bunch of editors sitting in cubicles, furiously editing away. I’m sure it’s not really like that.

Pablo Lema: We don’t reveal the exact number of editors in our network just yet as we are in early stages. Every editor can handle more than one project per week (3+ typically) and we currently have over 10 editors in our network (in countries as varied as Brazil, Italy, US, UK and France). We receive new inbound requests to participate in the network everyday and we carefully screen those editors to make sure that the skill level in our network is something we can be proud to share with our customers.

I should make it clear that we screen editors for the network but once they are in, the system is very flexible to their needs and wishes. An editor can choose to work on as many or as little projects as they want. We give them incentives to participate more, but ultimately we want to have a global, adaptive and creative family of skilled editors around the world that work from wherever they like, practicing their skills, earning extra income and making great videos for users.

Megan: Do you think you’ll expand from the whole “home video” arena into more complex jobs, like videos for business, animation, or anything like that?

Pablo: As for additional types of jobs, we have many ideas and markets we want to get into. Our goal is to match our product offerings to the types of editors we can help around the world, without confusing the customer with too many options. A business-type product with animation is a target, but that is a different beast than our current offering all together. SMBs, we believe would benefit a lot from our type of service as their current options are very expensive (in the thousands of dollars). We have done some small corporate jobs that have come in opportunistically and that has helped us learn what that product offering should eventually include.