Benjamin Nowak, Founder & CEO
Having started programming at age 12, Benjamin Nowak’s career was almost squashed when he caught the attention of the FBI after some mild hacking. After his parents initiated a one year ban from computers, Benjamin quickly got back into action, this time only legally hacking....
Popular video series Jam In The Van gets musicians of all kinds to come and play in a colorfully renovated vintage Winnebago. These high-octane sessions are shot with multiple professional cameras, and until recently the final product required hours upon hours of post-production. The Jam In The Van team’s staunch commitment to quality ruled out live streams Then they discovered Cinamaker, a new mobile-native platform that allows multi-cam recording, editing, and live streaming from an iPad.
The Jam In The Van crew could finally live stream, while still taking full advantage of every camera option, adding another type of high-quality content to their existing work. “Even when we were a little startup in my backyard we were firm in our belief that our audio and video quality had to be of top notch. As a result, we had never attempted to live stream our sessions. We didn't want to send out a single camera angle with low quality, unmixed audio,” explains Jake Cotler of Jam In The Van. “Cinamaker has enabled us to stream our sessions in a way that matches the high-level aesthetic that our viewers have come to expect from Jam In The Van. As a result, we're able to broadcast our sessions live as they are being shot.”
Cinamaker made it easy, as the first highly accessible pro-quality live streaming and video production platform. The intuitive interface can link up cameras of all kinds, from smartphones to DSLR cameras, and create live streams and on-the-fly “live-edits” by simply tapping a tablet. The approach has led to a new relationship with Panasonic, as well as significant interest from camera OEMs and video software companies.
“Cinamaker is exciting because multi-camera video production no longer requires thousands of dollars in equipment or a large crew to pull off,” says Gary Baker, Cinamaker’s SVP of Corporate Development. “Cinamaker is the mobile-native professional solution for video production and live streaming, with an iPad as the central control board.” The basic functionality is straightforward, though the platform offers a broad range of features and options for pro-level quality and adaptability.
Cinamaker sprang from technology Benjamin Nowak, a serial entrepreneur and passionate tech innovator, had developed as part of another project. He was sitting at a red light when it came to him: the technology he had used to sync multiple music devices for his app Tunemob had another potential application. It could sync multiple camera inputs and change the way multi-camera video gets made.
“It was an epiphany moment,” recalls Nowak, founder and CEO of Cinamaker. “Before I wrote a line of code, I put it all on paper and filed for the provisional patent. We started by syncing two videos, then syncing the recording process. Then we tackled moving media around and transferring it all to the iPad, so that you could edit in real time by touching which camera angle or media you wanted at that moment.”
From that first moment to final product, the vision remained basically unchanged, as Nowak and his team of developers pushed over the course of three years to create a suite of products, from mobile app to hardware, that could get a multi-camera studio setup into a professional videographer or aspiring video creator’s hands for a few hundred dollars.
“We had the seed of an idea and evolved it into a full-blown platform,” reflects Nowak. “What we built is very close to our original patent application. It was a matter of just getting it right. It’s the layers of technology infrastructure and core that you need to get to do the cool stuff. We did it and we’re thrilled with the product.”
Enabled by patented PerfectSync technology, Cinamaker allows creators to capture, record, and switch between multiple cameras of all kinds. They can also record and mix up to eight audio channels and embed media assets. Then, with a tap of the screen, users can live stream to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or other platforms and sites for instant distribution. Finally, creators can revisit footage via a live editing workflow, letting them re-edit their recording with the in-app editor--in real time. “We built Cinamaker to save creators and videographers countless hours in post production,” explains Baker. “They can also seamlessly transfer their synchronized media and metadata into the timeline of their preferred video editor for post-production refinement.”
Live workflows, however, make the entire video production process easier, and Nowak and Baker believe many creators will simply edit within the app because of this ease. “Live workflows are a way to simplify video production, and we’ve put them on steroids,” notes Nowak. “Cinamaker uses a live editor workflow time-machine of sorts. You can go back and re-edit based on the footage captured the first time around because all cameras remain in sync. It’s a smarter way to manage multi-camera footage and the Cinamaker innovation that promises to save creators the most time.”
While saving time, this innovation can spark new creative ideas and approaches for professionals, as Jam In The Van discovered. “Cinamaker and live streaming has allowed for both fans of Jam In The Van and the bands that participate on our program to view and hear the sessions before their edited release date, as well as get a bit of a behind the scenes look into what occurs during a Jam In The Van Session,” notes Cotler. “We can stream from multiple angles and incorporate in-stream graphics like a real broadcast that has been the coolest part. We're putting out very high level stuff, just as it's meant to be. We're stoked to keep developing our programs and working with Cinamaker to really enhance the Jam In The Van live experience.” The team will soon be streaming not just from their LA homebase but from festivals and other events across the country.
The experiences of professional video creators like Cotler and his team point to the promise of Cinamaker, which hopes to become the production platform that powers the next phase of the video storytelling. “We’re committed to transform video production,” Nowak says. “And we’re convinced Cinamaker can be a key player in this evolution by enabling professionals as well as new video creators with professional grade video tools that are affordable, powerful and easy to use.”