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Shotclip on way north to tap talent: Software firm helps people make films on smartphones

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Barry McBride (left), Invest NI Executive Director of International Business, with Conor McNally, Managing Director of ShotClip

Barry McBride (left), Invest NI Executive Director of International Business, with Conor McNally, Managing Director of ShotClip

Barry McBride (left), Invest NI Executive Director of International Business, with Conor McNally, Managing Director of ShotClip

A Dublin software company which capitalises on the craze for film-making on smartphones and tablets is moving its base over the border.

ShotClip said being in Northern Ireland will give it access to more talented people as it works on an interactive app for making a professional-looking home movie.

Its software allows a large number of people to contribute to making movies at special events, such as a wedding.

The firm has said it will employ six people in Newry within the next two years.

Managing director Conor McNally said it was becoming increasingly difficult to find good app developers and that while the company would retain a small presence in Dublin, the base would now be moving to Northern Ireland. "We made our first hire last week and we could not find that person in Dublin," he said.

"There is a serious shortage of app and tech developers unless you are a big brand and that is what has prompted us to move our base to Newry."

Invest NI has offered £48,000 towards the new jobs and the firm has also secured £200,000 funding from the Growth Loan Fund.

It has won £150,000 in funding from English funders Jenson Solutions Ltd for product development and marketing. Mr McNally said that ShotClip currently has 70,000 users, of whom 90% are in the Americas and 10% are in Europe, and aims to attract one million users by the end of 2015.

He said: "The assistance from Invest NI has been a great help and Northern Ireland seems to be fostering a good atmosphere for new tech companies, in which they are thriving, and the region is staying up to date with the latest technologies."

Mr McNally said that social movie making, where multiple users can contribute to a production, is fast gaining popularity.

Couples are increasingly pouring more effort into wedding videos, and posting choreographed first dances - sometimes involving their wedding guests - onto YouTube.

"Our product helps the user to become a director," he said.

"People can go out and shoot their own clips and contribute them to a bigger production.

"This means that in the case of a wedding, a holiday or a trip to Glastonbury, everyone who is there can play a part in capturing some of the experience.

"Our product also provides a template - you can add a list of shots, it could be a weekend in Belfast, a trip to the Antrim coast, and ideally we'd like to have templates for every tourist spot in the world."

He said that their app would enable people to make a movie out of shots on their mobile phone which would otherwise never be used.

"Users can make a private film available only to those who were there, or a crowd film where anyone can contribute," said Mr McNally.

"Our third phase is a crowd filming app where anyone can join in and make the film go global."

Barry McBride, Invest NI's executive director of international business, said ShotClip has the potential to be a world player.

Background

ShotClip is the latest Republic of Ireland business to open premises in Northern Ireland.

According to Invest NI figures, there are 275 Republic-owned businesses in Northern Ireland with 17,815 employees.

Some companies have travelled in the other direction, with the popular Mourne Seafood Bar opening in Dublin.

70,000: Current ShotClip users, with an aim to increase that to 1m by 2015

Belfast Telegraph