MOX Open Source Movie Format Crowdfunding Campaign

If you've ever longed for an open source alternative to Quicktime, now you can hep make it happen. From the MOX Indiegogo page:

There are already movie formats aimed at professional users, but they each fall short in one way or another. Some are not cross-platform, making them difficult to hand off to colleagues. Others do not support key features like higher bit depths and lossless compression. Few have well-designed APIs so that applications can take full advantage of them. Most require developers to pay licensing fees.

The source of these failings is that the formats are not open. Controlled by video software companies, their inner workings are shrouded in mystery. If users need the format to add a new feature or support a different operating system, it is entirely at the company's discretion to do so.

Compare this to an open format like JPEG, which can be read by any program on any device. Or see how OpenEXR has evolved to add features for today's visual effects artists. There's no reason we can't have the same freedom with a movie format.

Imagine of ProRes wasn't controlled by Apple. Imagine a movie file that played back with the correct gamma on every computer. Imagine multi-channel, high-bit-depth movie files for VFX collaboration. Imagine a camera that shoots both a lightly-compressed, ungraded log digital negative and a compressed edit proxy with the on-set LUT baked in—both in the same file.

The film industry needs this.

MOX is the brainchild of Brendan Bolles, who co-created eLin with me at The Orphanage, and wrote the OpenEXR code that now ships with Adobe After Effects.

I love that the campaign is simple and clean, with no superfluous perks like t-shirts to distract Brendan from his coding tasks.

Please contribute. If you have questions or skepticisms, please let Brendan know, either on the campaign page or on Twitter. He's making this for you, so tell him what you need.