Everything You Wanted To Know About Shred

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Following our recent interview with Revl, we wanted to hear from Mike Allen of Shred to compare how these two competing companies are different from one another! If you’re in the market for a new video system, the interviews conducted with both company CEO’s should give clarity on how both of these artificial intelligence video systems work.

Mike tell me about yourself. Where are you originally from, what is your education background? 

I’m from the Bay Area, California. I studied economics in college and have worked in the tech industry for 10+ years.

Please share the story that led to you becoming the CEO of Shred? What’s the origin story of this company? 

My friends and I are your typical GoPro nerds who make home movies of our surf and snowboard trips. We love the movies but we *hated* the slow and tedious editing process. At the time we founded Shred Video, Mark (my co-founder) and I were working together building music and video apps that used artificial intelligence. We imagined that an AI-based video editing system to make high quality action sports videos would be really fun to build. We started Shred Video to solve that problem – to get rid of the hassle of video editing and make professionally produced videos accessible to everyone.

Mark Godfrey is your CTO. Can you share some info about him and his background?

Mark has two master’s degrees in computer music and digital signal processing from Georgia Tech. He’s been building artificial intelligence music and video applications since college. You might remember Songify, one of the original smash hit apps of the Apple App Store. Mark built that! There are maybe a handful of people in the world that have Mark’s level of expertise in music/video artificial intelligence and app development.

I’m not aware that you’re a skydiver… how did you discover this industry?

Skydiving is the biggest commercial adventure sport in the world and had been on our radar since we founded Shred Video. We started building our skydiving product in 2017 with Skydive Utah. We spent two years building and iterating our skydiving video solution with them and a few other drop zones, before scaling out to the broader skydiving market this year.

Where are you all located and how many people work at Shred? 

We’re a team of five headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Tell us about Shred Video – What does Shred Video do?

Shred Video is an automated video production system for tandem skydiving and other adventure sports activities. The system completely replaces all video editing, processing, display, and delivery tasks.

All you have to do is plug in a camera or SD card, and Shred Video automatically generates multiple video edits in under a minute. Those videos are then automatically displayed on tablets and/or TV screens placed anywhere at the drop zone and uploaded to the cloud for easy viewing on mobile devices and sharing on social media.

What differentiates Shred Video from other competitors in the space?

The best thing about Shred Video is how fast it is. Our edits are done in under a minute. Customers love that they can watch and share their skydiving video literally moments after they land.

The second is convenience. Almost any camera works with Shred, so your videographers don’t have to change their equipment set up at all.

The third is cost. Because we don’t have to support the development of expensive custom hardware we can keep our costs lower than anyone with a similar service.

What equipment is needed to run Shred and what is the cost of acquiring that equipment?

All you need is an Apple computer powerful enough to do high quality video processing. Oftentimes drop zones already have these machines in house, in which case their startup cost with us is $0.

In the event a drop zone needs a new computer, we recommend really fast computers that cost between $1,499 and $2,750. Where a drop zone lands in that range depends on their speed and performance needs. These are reliable, high quality computers with Apple’s warranty that can be repurposed for many uses beyond running Shred Video.

Again, our service works with almost any camera, so drop zones don’t have to spend any additional money or hassle on replacing their cameras or the like.

What is the pricing structure of Shred? (per edit cost I assume?)

We charge a small commission of $9 on each video sold, which is almost always less than the cost of hiring someone to do all these tasks for you. We charge only one flat rate, so you don’t have to pay us more for video + photo options, selling on spec, or other more premium media configurations. We also only charge drop zones for the videos they actually sell. So we only make money when you make money.

Shred has integration with Burble. What does that actually mean? What efficiency does that bring to a dropzone?

Our Burble integration is extremely convenient for DZ’s that run on Burble. It makes onboarding customers a breeze because you don’t have to make them go through a separate onboarding process just for their media. You can onboard a customer with just one click and the customer doesn’t have to fill out anything.

Can dropzones storyboard their videos any way they wish or must they fit into a specific storyboard for Shred?

Shred Video offers a ton of filming flexibility for drop zones. There’s no set script you have to follow. Shred Video will make the best possible video from the available footage, including synchronizing with your music and stylizing it to fit your drop zone.

When the customer receives their videos, what do they actually receive and how quickly do they receive it?

Each customer is given up to four unique video edits of different styles optimized for sharing on social media. They can also receive photos either from a dedicated GoPro or DSLR or automatically printed stills from the video clips themselves.

Additionally, the customer’s media is uploaded to a personalized web page where they can view, download, and share their videos and photos on social media and with family and friends. A link to this page is automatically emailed to the customer once the upload completes.

Customers can view their media immediately on site, within one minute of processing. If your internet speed is 5 Mbps or better the customer can receive the media page link on their phone within a few minutes of landing.

Your site mentions that guests can watch their videos immediately after their jumps on touchscreen tablets and cinema TV displays. What’s the typical cost outlay for this feature?

The display options with Shred are really great. They run on Apple iPad and AppleTV.

The AppleTV allows you to automatically stream videos to any television screen wirelessly. The automated stream is intelligent, prioritizing newer videos so customers that just landed will be played next. The AppleTV retails for $149.

The iPads are great for personal, on-demand viewing, and new ones range from $329. Customers can browse each of their video edits and photos all automatically, so your staff doesn’t have to be involved in presenting them their media.

Bandwidth is often a problem at many dropzones. What is the minimum internet speed required to quickly and efficiently send videos to the customer?

Bandwidth is not a problem for Shred Video because we process everything locally. You can run Shred Video just fine with 5+ Mbps upload speed. And if your internet speed is lower than that, we have a variety of delivery methods that can suit your needs, including local delivery via USB, deferred uploads to another time or location, and more.

On your website, you state that Shred uses a combination of LiDar, GPS, and smart camera technology to capture videos and photos. Can you put this into layman’s terms?

Simply put, we use a variety of artificial intelligence inputs to inform our editing algorithms, depending on the product or activity. You can think of our system as similar to how self-driving cars work. A self-driving car uses computer vision and LiDar sensors to tell the car what the camera is seeing in front of it. We do a similar thing in post-production; we use the inputs from LiDar, GPS, and smart cameras to tell our editing algorithms what the camera saw, and use that information to compose a smart video edit.

Does Shred use artificial intelligence with its video editing?

We use artificial intelligence in all of our video edits. The primary objective of our system is to save you the pain of video editing by letting our algorithms do the work for you. Our algorithms perform several layers of analysis to ensure your customers receive the best video possible from the available footage.

Through the years, there have been many tech companies that have come and gone which has resulted in DZO’s to wait and watch before investing in a new product or service. What assurance can you give to DZO’s that are waiting and watching to see if Shred will be around especially amidst a global pandemic? 

A common path for tech startups is to raise a lot of money, then go out of business after a few years because they burn their cash on tech and marketing before they reach profitability.

We’ve gone a different route. You’ve probably noticed that we haven’t made a lot of noise about money we’ve raised or done any paid marketing. All our growth has been word of mouth. That’s allowed us to focus entirely on serving our clients and building a great product.

We’ve been profitable for two years now and are profitable now even with the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. We operate extremely lean compared to your typical technology startup. We love serving our clients and building great video products. We’ll be around a long time.

What dropzones currently use Shred Video?

We’re currently in 37 drop zones and are signing up more every month. Our clients span the globe from North America to Europe to Australia.

Some of the DZ’s that have been with us the longest are Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Bay Area Skydiving, Skydive Australia, and Skydive Tecumseh.

If you wanted dropzone owners to know one thing about you or Shred, what would be the one takeaway you’d like them to know about you? 

That we’re not new. Our product has been in development for years and is currently in service at dozens of drop zones worldwide.

Shred Video is a fast, reliable, and cost effective solution for tandem skydiving videos. Check us out at shredvideo.com/skydive and sign up for a free demo today.

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