If you’ve been to a nice wedding, anniversary, or milestone birthday party lately, you’ve probably seen this kind of video: A montage of friends and family from all over the world giving their congratulations and well-wishes. The thing is, as simple as they look, those types of videos can actually be a real pain to make. You have to have each contributor shoot his or her part, collect the various individual videos through a file sharing service such as Dropbox, then have someone who really knows their way around iMovie or Final Cut Pro stitch it all together in a way that keeps in the best bits, edits out the rest, and makes it all look cohesive.
A new startup debuting today called JumpCam wants to replace that whole process with one simple mobile app. JumpCam, which is launching today on iOS but will be available on Google Play soon, lets groups of friends easily shoot and edit together collaborative videos comprised of up to thirty 10-second clips.
It’s a really simple and snappy process, so JumpCam’s co-founder and CEO David Stewart stopped by TechCrunch HQ this week to give us a hands-on look. You can check that out in the video embedded above.
JumpCam is of course not the first startup aimed at letting people create collaborative videos — Switchcam is just one that’s launched in recent years that comes to mind — but as with all apps, the details and experience are really what sets JumpCam apart. Many of the existing apps in the space are focused around having people film the same thing, such as a concert, at the same time, from different vantage points. JumpCam allows you to do that too, but it’s more about bringing together videos from different places and different times. “We’re more about things that are thematically linked, not linked by location or timestamp,” Stewart says.
Stewart came up with the idea for JumpCam when he was helping to make a video for a friend’s destination wedding filled with messages from people who couldn’t be in attendance. In beta testing, he says he’s seen people use the app for similar projects — but there have been some surprises too. “People were excited about using it for things we hadn’t anticipated. We’ve had a band that allowed its fans to create a music video, and comedians all riffing around the same idea, like ‘world’s worst date lines,'” Stewart said.
There is certainly a graveyard in startup land for video apps, which just haven’t quite caught on with the mainstream in the same way that photo apps have. But the recent successes of Vine and video on Instagram have shown that user-generated mobile videos can actually be something that people want to both produce and consume. The key seems to be keeping the content good-looking, compelling, and short — not an easy feat. For now, though, it looks like JumpCam could be hitting all the right notes.