Friday, October 24, 2014
Usually I use this blog to announce a piece of software I've written, but now I'm announcing something I'm hoping to write. It's MOX, an open source movie format for video and film production. You can read all about it on the Indiegogo page.
The reason to use crowd funding is twofold. First, this free software project is too big for me to just put it together in my spare time. Second, we are proposing to create a new standard so we need to know there's support for it before we get started, to know that it's really worth doing.
Continue reading for the details of how this all began.
For probably about as long as I can remember, people have posted on the AE List about problems they were having with movies. Maybe the the gamma was messed up on other computers, maybe a codec they were using broke. Working at The Orphanage, I encountered some of these problems firsthand, and was frustrated to see I had little ability to solve them, due to the closed source nature of the movie formats. I had been spoiled by PNG and OpenEXR.
In June 2013 I was working on plug-ins for WebM and Theora, open source movie formats for the web. This made me realize that maybe there was enough code out there to make an open source movie format for people on the production side. The next time someone complained about movie formats on the AE List, I chimed in. Before I could balk at the idea of undertaking such an ambitious project on my own and for free, Louai Abu-Osba suggested it be crowdfunded. I was somewhat taken aback by the idea, but I was assured that I had the support of the AE list.
Well, I rolled the idea around in my head for quite some time and finally brought it back to the AE list. They liked most of my ideas, except for my proposed name: "POM" (for Professional Open Movie). We threw around some alternatives, and it was Teddy Gage who struck gold. While I wasn't too enamored with "Movie Open eXchange," pretty much everyone agreed that "MOX" was it. Mike Abbott volunteered to replace my pathetic logo design.
With tacit approval from the AE List, I started passing my proposal around to production people I know. My old buddy Matt Silverman, who runs Swordfish, was enthusiastic about the idea and agreed to produce the ever-important video. We got in touch with old friends at Atomic Fiction and Tippett Studio, who agreed to appear in it. Mauchi, whom I met at The Orphanage years ago, directed it.
Finally, on October 20 we launched the project on Indiegogo.
To be continued…