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SpiritClips hopes to inspire with Web videos

September 10, 2008 |  4:00 am

Sally homepage on SpiritClips

You can find lots of things on YouTube. Dogs eating bubbles. Swanky RVs.  A man making his 4-year-old look like a 90-year old man. But can you find inspirational and heartwarming videos that remind you of those long chain e-mails your great aunt forwards you, saying they make her weep? Filmmaker and Internet entrepreneur Rob Fried doesn't think so.

Fried, who produced such movies as "So I Married an Axe Murderer" and "Rudy," said that most Internet videos he's seen involve cats falling off bridges or riding scooters. He thinks that people want something more inspirational.

"I have two young children and wanted to show what Daddy does for a living with pride," he said. "I wanted to create a collection of films they and other kids could watch in the hope it would inspire them to emulate this behavior."

So he created SpiritClips, a website launching today that will feature inspirational films. Some will be inspired by true-life stories that readers share on the site. A clip available for preview on the SpiritClips site, titled "Sally," features Fried's wife, the actress Nancy Travis (of "So I Married an Axe Murderer"), as a diner waitress who deals with a poor, nice customer and a grumpy skinflint one. Guess who leaves the bigger tip.

SpiritClips has no advertising. Fried, who has founded digital media start-ups such as mobile ad company Ideation Mobile Media and video content company Spirit EMX, knows how hard it is to make money off of online video sites. So for SpiritClips, viewers have to either subscribe for $24.99 a year or pay $0.99 to watch each film.

They can also send videos to family and friends through filmcards, which are kind of like e-cards, but in video format. Filmcards cost $2.99.

"Many people are already used to the idea of spending money to send an e-card," he said. "We're hoping there are a collection of people that see our films and think they're less cynical, and send them to one another."

-- Alana Semuels

Screen shot of "Sally" video. Credit: SpiritClips