MovieClips has sounded like a good idea since the day I first heard of them. Everyone has their favorite movies, scenes, and lines of dialogue, and often these moments come up in day-to-day conversation. Having a handy video clip makes it easier to watch, share, or discuss with friends and family. But the latest move from MovieClips is completely unexpected: they've sort of traveled into the future, and brought back with them a gorgeous visual treatment for YouTube annotations.

MovieClips Interactive YouTube Annotations Post-Roll

MovieClips Takes YouTube Annotations To The Next Level movieclips annotations 606x433

MovieClips on YouTube was like a match made in heaven--one of the most sought after video varieties (movieclips) hosted on the world's largest video site. It was a natural partnership. But if you'd told me they'd also be the channel to finally break through the YouTube annotations rut and leapfrog a few years into the future with their beautiful and slick presentation... I might not have believed you.

But I would have been wrong.

Check out this video from MovieClips, in particular the annotations at the end (go ahead and jump to the end if you have no patience or don't enjoy Happy Gilmore):

Now isn't that just about the most awesome use of YouTube annotations you've ever seen? Here's some of what I like about it:

  • It looks amazing. Design-wise, it's gorgeous.
  • The soothing menu music is also kind of nice, though I'm a little surprised I'm saying that.
  • There are clickable menus in those annotations--the buttons for numbers 1 through 5 each slide in a new set of related links. Just a ton of effort went into this, and I couldn't be more impressed.
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Questions I have:

  • How did they do that? Even the links on some of the annotations, if you hover over them, appear to be breaking out of the typical uses for "boxes" that have traditionally been allowed.
  • How practical is this kind of thing for the average video creator?
  • Does MovieClips have some special arrangement with YouTube to allow for cool features the rest of us can't get? Or are they just the first to take things up a notch?

What do you think? What examples have you found of exceptional use of annotations? Please feel free to share in the comments below. I'm really impressed and blown away. Just as the thumbnail can impact whether or not a viewer clicks to watch a particular video, annotations could quickly become just as important in driving (and keeping) video traffic.

  • Austin Craig

    Yeah, repeating what Mike has already said, there are no special tools here. They're using the off-the-shelf tools available to every YouTuber. They're using them VERY well, but it's all available to whoever wants to use it.

  • Nicholas J Longtin

    That is a great use of annotations. I also always have some sort of post roll graphics content after my videos. If a user likes what they see always offer an easy way to watch more! An example of one of my post roll animations:

  • Melissa Southam

    Awesome! I am so proud of my brother:)

  • Mike Goedecke

    Jeremy thanks for noticing.
    To answer your questions: we have no special deal with YouTube. We are using all the existing powerful YouTube tools, but there was an insane amount of thought and testing that went into this postroll behavior prior to its creation.

    What might not be totally obvious is each postroll is customized to the content you just watched. If the clip features Adam Sandler, then there is a special section in the postroll that will take you to a custom created playlist with all our MOVIECLIPS licensed Adam Sandler clips, as well as the director, genre, and other relevant tags like props, locations, and moods. These tags have been created by our MOVIECLIPS curators.
    ( Check out our Genome Project Video which explains this process ).

    Each of these complex postrolls are created prior to uploading in a custom engineered rendering process which includes the slick animations and the 18 custom moving videos representing each piece of metadata. To do this on a single video might not be that difficult, but we have nearly 10,000 clips up on youtube and each of them have a custom created postroll. I'm very proud of our MOVIECLIPS engineering team and I appreciate this compliment for what we have accomplished. The team deserves major kudos for a job really well done. I'm pleased you noticed - thanks again for the nice and insightful post.

    • Jeremy Scott

      Thanks for the comments and the additional information, Mike. I didn't really think you had any special arrangements... I've just never seen anyone put the time and effort into something so sophisticated. It's really impressive. Your team does, indeed, deserve kudos. I hope it sparks more of the large channels to start putting more thought into how they can use annotations.

  • Cornel Axin

    Jeremy, actually it's pretty simple to do that and I don't think a whole post is necessary. All the graphics in there are created pre-rendering in the video editor such as Adobe Premiere, they have nothing to do with YT. When the video is uploaded you just create annotations based on the graphics in the video. Just turn annotations off in your account and replay the video.

    hope this help.

    • Mark Robertson

      Not all of our readers are as familiar with how much can be done so that's the reason for a post - just to showcase to others what's possible.