'Popcorn and a movie' takes on a whole new meaning

Seneca College partners with Mozilla to create new way of creating and experiencing web video

TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - When it comes to movies, forget about popped kernels of corn, and start thinking about Popcorn.js, a new way for web filmmakers to create videos with innovative interactive components.

Thanks to a partnership between Mozilla, creator of the Firefox browser, and Seneca College's Centre for Development of Open Source Technology (CDOT), Popcorn.js will allow web users to experience videos enhanced with such elements as additional video and audio tracks; web-based maps; live feeds from Twitter or Facebook; photos and/or subtitles.

"The Popcorn project is a joint venture with Mozilla to create the technology and tools necessary for filmmakers and other storytellers to use the web as a medium," says Professor David Humphrey, Seneca's School of Information and Communications Technology.  "Popcorn makes it possible for programmers and non-programmers to create complex visual narratives and time-based, interactive media experiences using open web standards without the need for proprietary plugins."

Popcorn.js and its online web application Popcorn Maker were released during the November 4-6 Mozilla Media Festival in London, England. It was part of a research project involving 15 Seneca students and faculty. The work was aided by grants from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Mozilla.

"CDOT has been instrumental in the success of Popcorn," says Brett Gaylor, Mozilla's lead of the Web Made Movies project. "David Humphrey's team have made an extraordinary contribution to the HTML5 ecosystem that advances the capabilities of developers, media makers, and video creators on the web."

Without the need to download plugins, viewers can immediately be immersed in Popcorn-enhanced video content, providing they are using a current HTML5-capable browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, Apple's Safari, or Google's Chrome browsers.

Seneca has already worked with filmmakers in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Boston on other upcoming productions using Popcorn.js.  It has been used by documentary filmmakers to tell the story of the uprising in Egypt, the plight of people living in Burma, and the economic crisis in the United States and the National Film Board of Canada recently premiered a Popcorn-enhanced web film.

The Mozilla Foundation is an independent non-profit organization supported by individual donors and a variety of companies. The foundation promotes openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet by releasing software such as Firefox and Thunderbird and expanding to new areas, and by grants to support accessibility improvements on the world wide web.

With 10 campuses across the Greater Toronto Area, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas and graduate certificates renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Combining the highest academic standards with practical, hands-on learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensures Seneca graduates are career-ready.

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SOURCE Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology

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Seneca College Media Relations 416-491-5050 ext. 77018

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