Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker
Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker

Video beyond the box


Popcorn Maker is a Web app that transforms the passive act of watching a video online into an entirely new and active experience. Its simple drag-and-drop interface allows users to grab live content–like Twitter feeds, Google maps, photos, news feeds, and live links–directly into video and audio files. The result is a Web-native video, which behaves as a dynamic and engaging mini-website that responds to real-time cues and makes connections across a variety of platforms.

Videos created with Popcorn Maker package all of the interactivity of the Web into one place and, and like the Web itself, responds to the actions of the viewer. Beyond creating compelling visual narratives and aggregating information, Popcorn Maker encourages sharing, enhancing, and remixing other user’s content. Until now, only experienced Web developers could author this type of content. Popcorn Maker provides a scalable framework so that users can become Web-native filmmakers.

Keywords / Definitions


  • Aggregate : Pulling disparate elements together into one place

  • Mozilla : A non-profit that works to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the Web

  • Remix : Taking Web content and adding, removing, or altering elements to produce something new

  • Web-Native Video : Interactive stories that are made to be viewed exclusively online


In line with the mission of its creator Mozilla, a non-profit initiative dedicated to keeping the power of the Web accessible to everyone, Popcorn Maker is extremely user-friendly. With little or no knowledge of coding, users can create innovative videos that harness the power of Mozilla’s Javascript library Popcorn.js and other web elements like HTML5, CSS, and Java. Popcorn Maker is an ideal tool for users who have experience editing audio/video content in iMovie and uploading to YouTube.

Until now, video on the web has been stuck inside a little black box. Popcorn Maker changes that, making video work like the rest of the web: hackable, linkable, remixable, and connected to the world around it.
—Brett Gaylor, Mozilla’s Director of Popcorn

Popcorn Maker would be best explored in a series of workshops or classes that allotted time for students to prepare storyboards, produce original content, publish their own narratives, and remix the content of others. Mozilla also encourages users to have their own blog or website to serve as a hub for collaboration and sharing.

In addition to a structured learning environment, Popcorn Maker is ideal for self-directed learners who wish to master the tool at their own pace. Once an interactive film is complete, users can generate a link to post on social media, embed in a website, or share in any place on the web.

Popcorn Maker was last modified: April 1st, 2014 by The Sprout Fund