Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Ben Weinberger feels a bit like Forrest Gump these days, especially since , the venture capital backed firm he runs, is getting international attention through a movie clips deal with Hollywood giant Paramount.

“With great customers like Paramount, life really is ‘like a box of chocolates’ … very sweet,” Weinberger Tuesday, quoting Tom Hanks from the timeless hit Forrest Gump.

Is a Hollywood star in the future for the Digitalsmiths crew (which, by the way, has a Hollywood presence)?

Will they be the Google of video?

Paramount Digital Entertainment launched a new online video offering that is designed to monetize its film library by segments – thus the service. Digitalsmiths, which has developed proprietary technology for tagging – or indexing – video down to facial expressions, let alone words, is providing the technology for the Web site.

The self-service portal enables customers to license clips through Digitalsmiths, which Paramount obviously believes offers a secure means of capitalizing on its huge film inventory in new ways.

"With the Digitalsmiths technology, we are opening new revenue streams for our premium film and clip library,” said Geremie Camara, vice president of product development at Paramount Digital Entertainment, in a statement.

For example, Paramount wants the content on “multiple screens – think smart phones, mobile devices and anything else that can display digital video.

“Digitalsmiths is proud to be the digital media solution for this unprecedented and truly revolutionary approach to clip monetization,” Weinberger wrote.

“Our VideoSense® product is managing the complete digital media workflow – indexing, discovery, clipping, transcoding, distribution and fulfillment – to help create new, worldwide licensing opportunities for Paramount.”

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Digitalsmiths is likely to benefit beyond any dollars due to all the international publicity the paramount program is receiving. Money-starved video creators may line up to do business with Weinberger and company.

As Weinberger noted in his blog, Paramount has access to a “digital blueprint” of what he calls “intelligent video tags that includes actors, dialogue, scenes, genres, locations, clearances and much more. This makes it fast and easy for Paramount’s worldwide business partners to search for, create and license clips in multiple languages, eliminating time-consuming manual processes while creating new revenue opportunities.”

Paramount is launching the site with clips from 80 movies. In its press release, Paramount described Digitalsmiths as “the innovative multi-screen media analysis, operations and publishing technology provider.”

Weinberger and company have been objects of attention from the West Coast for some time. Cisco, an ever increasingly important player in the video space, invested in Digitalsmiths back in January. Why?

Users who choose to license content from the site can “search for any element within the library, a list that includes (but is not limited to) specific actors, locations or lines of dialogue,” Paramount explained. “VideoSense instantly combs through the collected metadata to locate the relevant clip. That clip can then be reformatted, exported to any platform that plays video, and monetized.”

If Paramount Clips works and money hungry Hollywood cashes in, too, Ben and company just might get their own stars – plus their names in lights or at least credits.

Hollywood Southeast?

P.S., let’s not forget, either, that another Triangle firm – Inlet technologies – is also making inroads in Hollywood with its video compression technology.

Plus, Zemph Studio in Durham could revolutionize the music industry with its software. (And N.C. is forever trying to land more films to be made here.)

Now that’s entertainment – Triangle high-tech style.

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