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The cutting room floor – open documentary with WM

Screengrab of WebMonetization, Hyperaudio and Creative Commons Video from a CiviCRM event


In the days when editors were splicing together celluloid film with tape, they'd throw on the floor anything that didn't 'make the cut'. Billions of hours of footage will have been lost on 'the cutting room floor' – a one hour documentary might have dozens of hours of interviews that are never seen, even tho to a fan, historian, or educator they could be of much interest.

We're exploring how to use Web Monetization to encourage filmmakers to release the unseen video assets that make up a finished documentary. As well as saving and showcasing video that might otherwise be lost, this opens up the potential for other people to re-use and remix bits of these interviews in their own work (if the interviews have a Creative Commons license).

What we're doing

Working with the lite library, we've made sites for two recent small catalogues of suitably licensed raw interviews/screenasts we had access to:

Not all of these videos have been transcribed, but some such as this, this, this and this have been. On those pages you can see the video working with the Hyperaudio library and the transcript so you jump through the video by clicking on words, search the transcript, and share clips of video on Twitter by selecting parts of the text.

We're playing with how this integrates with Web Monetization – for now we're displaying a Thank You notice and download button for those with a subscription (obviously as it's web video, anyone could right-click to download the video regardless). Web Monetization can cover hosting costs, potentially – we could use Hyperaudio with YouTube video, but then have less control over which type of Creative Commons license to attach, and cannot easily add a download link.

People involved / thanks

  • Nicol Wistreich ( - designer
  • Mark Boas (Hyperaudio - transcript help and ideas bouncing
  • Silvia Schmidt (kalenea) - legal advice on rewording release forms for Creative Commons, and ideas bouncing
  • grateful to various people in the CiviCRM community, especially Erik Hommel of CiviCoop who commissioned the original documentary, and everyone in the videos.

Have a film you'd like to share in this way?

Say hello (hello @ What we're doing should be easily recreatable on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or other CMS, while Mark is working on a WordPress plugin. We'd be happy to help anyone share their film footage like this – or collaborate on ways to make this process better.

Similar projects / props

Those links again: &

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