Movie Scene Search Launches at SxSW

I noticed an article in Silicon Alley Insider about a new movie search engine that lets you look up clips. I’ve been seeing a lot of these lately, so I wasn’t surprised to see another one. I was wondering what would make this one stand out. Though it doesn’t have an overwhelming number of movies in its database (2,000, the SAI article says, with expectations to have another 3,000 up by the end of next quarter) I was impressed about the search options.

When you go to the front page you’ll have the options to search for topics within movies, or when actors said certain things, or for scenes that have something in particular in them. This is a heck of a lot more than just looking for a quote. I did a search for Barbara Stanwyck saying anything, since other clip engines I’ve looked at have not had a good selection of old movies. I got about 40 results. Results showed the name of the movie, a brief line of dialogue, and the actors involved. I was very impressed by the filters on the left side of the results page that let me narrow down the results by movie, by actor, and by director.

You will not get these filters when you do a search for something that gives you only a few results. I did a search for Rosalind Russell saying “Sold”, looking for the scene in His Girl Friday when she yammers back at Cary Grant and finishes with “Sold American!” Anyclip found it.

Search results vary depending on whether or not there’s a video available. In the case of this Russell clip, a window pops up with tabs to show both the video and the dialogue. If you’re registered with the site you can save the clip or rename it. Sometimes you’ll do a search and you’ll get a result that doesn’t have video yet. If you do a search for “raw beets and carrots” you’ll find that a) AnyClip doesn’t seem to like phrase searches — it ignores the quotes, and b) the result that has the quote, Ninotchka, will show a window with the correct line of dialogue, but a note that video isn’t available yet. Of course, Melvyn Douglas has some terrific lines in that movie, but he doesn’t appear in the filters for the search result. Doing just a search for his name does give a filter for that movie, so if you like you can look at that and see half-a-dozen exchanges or so and see the ones that AnyClip considered worth putting in for Melvyn Douglas.

If you don’t have anything to search for and you’d rather explore, try one of AnyClip’s themes, like “Spring Weather”, or speeches. I was impressed with the extent of the materials that were available on AnyClip, and I’m looking forward to the 5,000-movie version. One note: the SAI article noted bugginess and slow access speed for this site. I didn’t experience any of that.

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