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Culture

iPhone app puts your message in the movies

The app lets you insert text in key moments of clips from Universal Studios movies such as "The 40-year-old Virgin" and "Despicable Me."

scenes from a clip from Despicable Me
You can put your clever (and brief) message in this clip from 'Despicable Me.' video screenshot by Eric Smalley for CNET

So you wanna be in pictures?

The PercyFX app for the iPhone won't make you a star or even let you deliver a line, but it will let you insert bits of text into clips from movies.

All you do is insert text at designated points and then add the personalized clip to YouTube, Facebook, or your iPhone or iPad. App maker Percy3D licenses clips from movie studios and makes sections of each clip customizable. (The clips also include links to buy or rent the full movies.)

The initial set of clips are from these Universal Studios movies:

• "The 40-year-old Virgin"
• "American Pie"
• "American Pie 2"
• "American Pie Wedding"
• "Back to the Future"
• "Back to the Future II"
• "Back to the Future III"
• "The Big Lebowski"
• "Despicable Me"
• "The Fast and the Furious"
• "2 Fast, 2 Furious"
• "Fast & Furious"
• "Hop, the Movie"
• "Kong, the 8th Wonder of the World"
• "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"
• "Sixteen Candles"

The app and two sample clips from an animation by Percy3D are free, but you pay for the movie clips. A pack of three customizable clips is 99 cents and a pack of 10 is $2.99.

Percy3D plans to release clips from a second studio early in the fall and from a third studio before the end of the year. Adding still images to the clips--instead of just text--is also a possibility for the future.

The app is available for devices that run Apple's iOS. Percy3D plans to launch on Android by the end of summer, followed by Windows Mobile and then BlackBerry, according to the company.

I'm looking forward to putting my mark on "The Big Lebowski." I'd like my words to be there while the Dude abides.

Further down the line I'd like a more Zelig-like experience: inserting a video clip of myself (or someone else) in a movie clip. But that's a long way off. It's a huge technical challenge to match the camera angles, lighting, and color of a video to a movie clip.