Rootclip Lets You Tell the Story

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Two mild-mannered dudes from Tennessee think they’ve come up with a cool way to add collaboration to the movie-making process. Their site, Rootclip, aims to rev up audience participation by letting users determine where the story goes.

It works like this: Rootclip creates a one-minute short that kicks off a story. Users then submit 60-second videos that tell the next chapter in that story. The audience votes for their favorite, and the winner becomes part of the official film. Participants then submit the next 60 seconds for voting and so on, until the sixth and final chapter.

And in a clever way to get around different people starring as the same character, participants are only required to have the same outfits, which are pretty basic.

The idea was hatched by Kevin Antoine and Erik Luchauer, two brothers-in-law who work for Scripps Interactive Newspaper Group. They wrote up their idea and submitted it to Scripps Entrepreneurial Ventures, which gave the duo $100,000 to get the idea off the ground. Antoine and Luchauer still have their day jobs at Scripps and fit Rootclip work in where they can.

But while the web provides the opportunity for this type of collaboration, getting people to collaborate is another matter altogeter. Rootclip’s first story, Good Luck, launched on April 28th and received just three submissions to create chapter two. Chapter three is up now and has no submissions, though to be fair, there are still five days left to submit, and to be even more fair, Rootclip isn’t even a month old.

Rootclip gives winners from each chapter a $500 Visa gift card, and the winners from each chapter can vie to create the final segment of the story (and win an all-expenses paid trip to Michael Moore’s film festival). But that’s not much incentive.

Like any good startup, Rootclip has an alternate idea if the short film idea doesn’t pan out. They’re already considering using the platform they’ve built to try the UGC ad approach.

For more coverage, check out Tilzy.tv.

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