Twitter Get New Video Discovery Tool

Turner-backed startup Cinemacraft has studios making mosaics out of movie trailers

What’s better than a Vine clip posted to Twitter? A Videogram, a more immersive video-discovery system created by startup Cinemacraft, which several Hollywood studios have already experimented with.

Videogram dices up videos into smaller segments, creating a mosaic that highlights the most relevant bits with larger tiles based on various factors — providing more entry points into, say, a movie trailer, TV episode or music video. Users can share the entire Videogram or specific snippets.

The result: Videogram can double time spent viewing online and mobile video, according to Balaji Gopinath, VP of emerging technology for Turner Broadcasting System, which has run tests with the tool.

Turner recently took an equity stake in Cinemacraft, and this fall its truTV channel will launch Videogram in its video apps and website. “The world of video discovery is a challenging thing,” Gopinath said. “Cinemacraft addresses that with a whole new way of being able to access video.”

The startup recently closed $1.5 million in funding from Turner, NTT DoCoMo and early-stage investment firm 500 Startups. Last year it raised a seed round of about $500,000 from 500 Startups and angel investors.

Turner is funding Cinemacraft through its Media Camp startup-accelerator program. On Thursday, at the programmer’s 2013 Media Camp event in San Francisco, Cinemacraft announced it will integrate Videograms with Twitter’s Player Cards technology, to let users view a mosaic directly in their feed (as with YouTube and Vine videos).

The startup also has worked with Sony Pictures Entertainment to create a Videogram for “Battle of the Year,” and the studio also has created them for “Elysium,” “One Direction: This is Us” and “RoboCop.” In addition, 21st Century Fox made a Videogram for the trailer of Justin Timberlake’s “Runner Runner” and Universal Music Group has Videogram’d music videos for Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Tori Kelly.

CEO Sandeep Casi founded Cinemacraft in June 2012. He originally created Videogram as a way to find the most relevant portions in color-copier documentation videos when he worked as a research scientist for FX Palo Alto Laboratory.

“From the time online video got started, the presentation layer hasn’t changed,” he said. “Everybody tells you which video is trending but not which part of it is trending.”

Videogram breaks down scenes based on color, motion, image similarity and duration, and then reformats itself based on which segments are clicked on most frequently. “It’s a living, breathing pictorial summary,” Casi said.

Cinemacraft, with just four employees including Casi, has offices in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Videogram is available on the web at videogram.com and through apps for iOS and Android. A Videogram is instantiated as an HTML5 frame, and works with a variety of video players including YouTube.

Here’s a Videogram for Marvel’s “Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk” trailer:

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