Disclosure: No compensation has been provided. A contributing writer attended a blogger lunch for the purposes of this post. All opinions are 100% of the writer’s.
As someone with two incredibly adorable kids, I am the owner of an iPhone filled with literally thousands of photos and videos of them doing incredibly adorable things. But one problem I often face is what to do with all those pictures to make actually looking at them practical. Sure, Instagram is great for transforming still shots and Vine is great for capturing cute moments, as long as they are less than 6 seconds long and you have the app open at the exact right moment. Those are both good short-term solutions, but I recently learned about a great new iPhone app called ptch (pronounced “pitch”), which was created by DreamWorks. I had no idea DreamWorks did anything besides make movies that my kids love to watch endlessly, like the Madagascar trilogy, but apparently they do.
I recently had the opportunity to go to DreamWorks headquarters and learn about ptch directly from the product’s creator, Hans, and his QA director Meagan. I discovered that ptch is an incredibly creative tool that lets you shoot, edit, and share videos of up to a minute in length, with less than 5 minutes of work involved. Not only that, you can make moving slideshows out of your still pictures or micro-documentaries that combine still photos with video. To make them look even cooler, you can add Instagram-esque visual filters to give your ptches a retro, or one of several other, looks. And you can insert text cards wherever you like during the video to make it look even more professional. Ptch also has a social component, so you can follow other ptchers and like or comment on their ptches, and vice versa, like on Instagram.
Available for the iPhone platform so far, but soon for Android, too, ptch is the only app that lets you legally add your favorite songs from your iTunes playlist to your videos. Thanks to their exclusive agreement with Apple, you can add any song you already own, buy a song on the spot via the iTunes Store, or add one from ptch’s vast selection to any of your ptches. Normally when sites or apps include “free” music, it’s stuff you’ve never heard of or have no desire to ever really hear, like boring instrumentals. Ptch offers free music for your videos from artists like U2, Kanye West & Florence + The Machine, which is not too shabby. The biggest issue with this is if you are indecisive like me, you could spend twice as long picking just the right song to complement your video as you do actually making the ptch itself.
To be honest, it took me a few minutes to get the hang of using the app, and it still has some tech issues being sorted out but then again, what high tech app doesn’t? And there are workarounds to make it even easier to use. For example, I was having an issue using the camera within the app to take pics and shoot video because of a glitch with my iPhone software. So I just took the pictures and videos as I normally would with the built-in iPhone camera and easily accessed them through the ptch app. I really dig having the ability to use any photos and videos from my iPhone’s Camera Roll through ptch. So even if you are just learning about ptch, as I am, you can still create ptches from events long past.
I highly recommend uploading your ptches somewhere with a strong WiFi or 4G signal, as the audio/video files are large and can chip away at your iPhone’s battery while processing the video. You’ll also need adequate storage space on your iPhone’s hard drive to store the video files, so if your phone is too overloaded you might want to clear some room so you can begin the movie-making magic!
Here’s my first ptch, shot and edited in about 2 minutes at DreamWorks studios:
Jay Sokol is originally from the Midwest, but has been an L.A. resident of 13 years, so he’s almost a native. He’s married and has two boys 3 ½ and 8 months and blogs about their adventures at Dude of the House. His favorite L.A. spot is the Greek Theatre and he is still on the hunt for the elusive great L.A. pizza.