Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Hulu and the best job in the world

May 20, 2008

Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar was at the Reuters Technology Media and Telecommunications Summit in New York on Tuesday, where he told us about the best job in the entire world. Read on:

During the course of the beta, we actually had film school grads that are on the team, that actually cherrypicked the best moments from [shows like] “30 Rock” and “Prison Break” and “The Simpsons,” and we now have over 600 clips, for example, from “Saturday Night Live.”

Later, I asked him to tell me more about this job.

It’s a clipping operation — four or five people that focus on clipping and creating great short-form content. It’s a fun job. Every time I walk by their office — we’re all in this open area — it’s so fun because I see Elvin with his headphones on and he’s laughing, and it’s a pretty great gig because basically his job is to watch fun movies and funny TV shows and pick the best moments and put them together.

I can picture it now: Fassbinder’s greatest hits, a collection by Robert MacMillan.

Earlier in Kilar’s appearance at the summit, he talked about how Hulu.com gets a real spit-and-polish, time and again:

We’re neurotic in many ways and I want to be honest about that. We sweat over every pixel on the site. We have arguments internally about how small we can make the Hulu logo and yet have it still be legible because we don’t want it to have to get in the way of the video. We argue over font sizes and font choices and shadowing effects and things most normal people would think is silly.

But we think that’s important, because we think that if we can present franchises like … “The Office” and “30 Rock” in the best presentation possible, that’s critical to the user experience. And what’s interesting is that that carries over as well to how we treat the advertising franchises as well. We trans-code these things ourselves. We sweat over the volume levels so that the advertising commercial break volume level matches identically to the content.

It’s like Stanley Kubrick was resurrected as the head of an online video Web site.

(Photo: Reuters)

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