Bridging the Gap: Storytelling through video by using Clipchamp’s JavaScript camera

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Bridging the Gap is a not-for-profit group comprised of four undergraduates at Stanford University who are working to create a web platform which connects first generation high school students with college-going alumni from their local communities.

The organisation hopes that by bridging the communication gap between these groups, high school students from traditionally disadvantaged areas can begin their college journeys with more preparation for the challenges they may face, and with the support of their peers. Bridging the Gap are currently using the Clipchamp API’s JavaScript camera input option to let users record from their website and store videos on YouTube. 

Clipchamp spoke to Matt, one of the creators of ‘Bridging the Gap’, to hear his thoughts on utilising the Clipchamp API in a not-for-profit setting:

Helping students get through college

The overall goal of Bridging the Gap is to “increase college retention rates among low-income first-generation students by helping students prepare for the challenges they may face in college”.

Matt said his organisation came to use Clipchamp as they needed a way for students to easily record videos on whatever device was most convenient to them.

“Our platform is all about storytelling through video,” he said.

“We ask college students to record videos about their college experiences.

“In these videos, the college students share stories about challenges they have faced and overcome in college as well as some general advice for graduating students from their high schools.”

Pain points the JavaScript camera is solving

In terms of specific pain points or issues that the Clipchamp API solves for the organisation, Matt said that “the Clipchamp API’s JavaScript camera handles the entire video-making aspect of our platform so we can focus our time on engaging our users rather than writing our own video recording and processing software”.

Matt added that the API’s functionality of storing videos on either YouTube or Google Drive, and recording videos in-browser were further examples of video recording issues being handled by Clipchamp, subsequently allowing his organisation to focus on user engagement.

“We wanted a way for students to easily record their videos right from their browser so they would not have to download any software, and the JavaScript camera that comes with Clipchamp’s API allows us to do just that,” he said.

In addition, Clipchamp’s ability to convert all videos to a “uniform format so we do not have to deal with converting different video formats” solved another pain point for ‘Bridging the Gap’.

In terms of his organisation’s experience using the Clipchamp API, Matt said that the integration process has been seamless and very easy.

“We deployed the Clipchamp button onto our site and had dozens of students filming videos on their devices the next day with no difficulties,” he said.

Matt also praised the actual user experience for the plugin as delightful and intuitive and stated that all their users have been able to record videos using the JavaScript camera API with “very little guidance”.

Unique features of the Clipchamp API

Furthermore, Clipchamp provides a number of unique features but the functions determined to be most useful by ‘Bridging the Gap’ were the ability to upload directly to YouTube or Google Drive and the ability to customise the UI.

“The upload to YouTube feature has been very helpful for us because we wanted to leverage pre-existing video hosting software to store our videos,” said Matt.

“We also need the customization of the UI so that we can maintain a coherent design-scheme for our website.”

Finally, when asked about their overall experience working with the Clipchamp team, Matt was eager to express his gratitude to the team by stating that “working with them has been great!”

“David and Tobias have been so helpful and responsive, and never hesitated to help out however they can.

Matt concluded the interview by stating that “as a non-profit with little funding, we really appreciate the Clipchamp team working out a plan for us that fits within our budget.”


Learn more, check out a demo of Clipchamp’s JavaScript camera API and sign up for a free 14-day trial to get a video recorder, transcoder and uploader for your own website.

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