Sunday, March 7, 2021

Tensil is building a new collaborative video tool – TechCrunch

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Mike Folgner has had his share of success building video editing tools, having sold Jumpcut.com to Yahoo and SnappyTV to Twitter. But as he explained in a new Medium post, he still sees “unfinished business” in the video industry.

“Today, most major productivity software categories have made the leap from desktop software to the web,” Folgner wrote. “Despite significant progress in web technology, professional video tools have not made this leap. With WebGL, WASM, and other advancements this will change. We can now build performant, feature rich applications integrated with the fabric of the web.”

To create full-featured video editing software that works in the browser, Folgner has teamed up with Ryan Cunningham (his Jumpcut and SnappyTV co-founder) and Ashot Petrosian (who was a lead engineer at Jumpcut) to found a new startup called Tensil, which is currently taking signups for anyone who wants to test the alpha version of its first product Scenery. (And they’ve hired Chris Martin as their first key engineer.)

Tensil has raised $3.89 million in funding led by Freestyle VC, with participation from Precursor Ventures, Wireframe Ventures, Transmedia Capital, Uphonest Capital, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Kayvon Beykpour, Kevin Weil, Elizabeth Weil, Russ Fradin, Ross Walker, Joe Bernstein, Keith Coleman, David Pidwell, Ryan Peirce and Don Ryan.

Image Credits: Tensil

Since they’re still developing and testing the product, I didn’t get a chance to try Scenery for myself, but I got on a call with Folgner and Petrosian to discuss their plans.

“If you stop and think about what should a video editor be today, you won’t build the same tool that was built in the 1970s,” Petrosian told me.

For example, he said that rather than relying on the standard timeline view of existing video editors, Scenery will present a two-dimensional canvas, allowing editors to think “more like a graphic designer.”

More broadly, Petrosian said Scenery is meant to better reflect current video production and editing needs, helping teams produce videos more quickly and collaboratively. In fact, he suggested that describing Scenery as merely an editor is selling it short — it’s closer to “a video production system.”

Folgner added that by moving the process into the browser, Scenery can help non-editors get involved in the process, similar to the way that Figma brought new team members into the design process.

“We are really excited about rethinking video editing as a team sport,” he said.

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