PicApp - HTC One M9 GoldBootlegger is a long-running project started in 2014 to develop a community video commissioning platform. The resulting technology platform consists of a cross-platform mobile app which acts like a simple camera application. This application displays shot-choices that non-professional film makers can use to capture high quality footage. This footage, and all associated metadata (both standard and context based from what was requested) is collected centrally using the Bootlegger infrastructure. Contributors can then create small micro-edits in the app using their and other people’s video of any event.

What to capture can be defined by anyone, using the online web-console. Simple film-convention based shot frames and pre-defined templates allow non-skilled filmographers to define what they want the community to capture.

Key to this ecosystem is the video storage, processing and manipulation technologies built into the cloud based server applications, and an easy to use API giving access to these tools for building future technologies onto the system.

This evolving platform has led to insights about community commissioning, how templating can work in this context and genre based auto-directing.

Currently the platform is in use by:

  • Newcastle University for Undergraduate teaching and CASAP teacher training
  • BBC R&D as a shot-decision engine.
  • Various research projects within universities, ranging from ethnography data-capture to youth engagement.



  • NodeJS
  • Xamarin Mobile