August 22, 2015

the smartphone camera and the material politics of visibility – brian creech

Filed under: mobile filming,new media politics (k3),politics — ABRAXAS @ 12:47 pm

Screen shot 2015-08-22 at 12.47.59 PM

keep reading here: http://www.icp.org/perspective/the-smartphone-camera-and-the-material-politics-of-visibility

June 19, 2015


Filed under: Max Schleser,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 11:20 am


The Mobile Innovation Network Australasia [ MINA ] aims to explore the possibilities of interaction between people, content and the creative industries.

The International Mobile Innovation Screening 2015 will showcase short films produced on and with smartphones, mobile, pocket cameras and drones. This year MINA is pleased to announce that RMIT University (AUS) will present the screening in Melbourne, Australia, on the 18th November. #mina2015 is co-organised by Colab (AUT University, NZ) and Toi Rauwharangi, the College of Creative Arts (Massey University, NZ) in conjunction with the Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium.

Working in collaboration with Super 9 (Portugal), Mobile Motion Film Festival (Switzerland),Cinephone (Spain), Mobil Film Festival (USA), Mobile Film Festival (Macedonia), Mobile Screenfest International (Australia), MINA showcases mobile filmmaking projects from around the world at the 5th International Mobile Innovation Screening.

The MINA showcase will include micro-movies and micro-formats (Vine, Vyclone and live streaming apps), travel, mobility and adventure films (i.e. sports or skate videos) including projects realised with GoPro and/or drone cameras.

In its 5th edition the screening theme In Perspective will explore, but not limited too:

¬ ACTUALITIES / Vine, Vyclone & live streaming…

¬ ACTION / Travel, mobility & adventure (i.e. sports, skate…)

¬ CONNECTIVITY / GoPro & pocket camera videos…

¬ DIGITAL ART / iPhonography & animation…

¬ FICTION / Short films & micro dramas…

¬ MICRO / Extreme short-movies & emerging formats…

¬ NONFICTION / Documentary, moving-image & experimental…

¬ PERSPECTIVE / Drone & underwater…

Selected mobile films will be featured in the MINA showreel, MINA DVD, MINA eBook and MINA’s international partner festivals.

For further assistance regarding submission enquiries, please contact Dr. Max Schleser [ max@mina.pro | +64 226 920 872 ]

Deadline for submission via www.mina.pro/submit – 17th July 2015.

All screening proposals will be double peer reviewed and notification of acceptances will be send out on 31st August 2015.

MINA 2012 showreel: http://vimeo.com/51724574

E Book: http://bit.ly/eBook2013

Twitter @MINAmobile

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MobileInnovationNetwork

Screening programms 2011-2014: https://www.scribd.com/mschleser


May 27, 2015

mobile movie film festival

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 3:48 pm

Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 3.44.12 PM
Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 3.50.00 PM

keep reading t6his article here: http://www.tagblattzuerich.ch/aktuell/lifestyle/lifestyle-detail/article/ruhe-bitte-smartphone-laeuft.html

April 16, 2015

the evolution of the cell phone film

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 10:36 am

Screen shot 2015-04-16 at 10.34.37 AM

keep reading this article here: http://www.cellc.co.za/cell-phone-features-blog/2012-08-15-phoning-it-in-the-evolution-of-the-cell-phone-film

watch the making of SMS SUGAR MAN here: https://vimeo.com/125083761

March 31, 2014

iphone movie shot

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 2:48 pm

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 2.46.58 PM

March 4, 2014

unga dada is not separate from the society of the spectacles

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January 30, 2014

smartphone movies go mainstream

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 7:12 am

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 7.12.41 AM0

keep reading this article here: http://www.indiewire.com/article/will-2014-be-the-year-that-smartphone-filmmaking-goes-mainstream?page=1#articleHeaderPanel

December 13, 2013

magic bullet

Filed under: mobile filming,south african cinema — ABRAXAS @ 9:22 am

Screen shot 2013-12-13 at 9.21.05 AM

first published here: https://www.facebook.com/seancmichael/posts/335015993307622

November 19, 2013

#MINA2013 International Mobile Innovation Screenings, Symposium & Mobile Filmmaking Workshop

Filed under: Max Schleser,mobile filming,new media politics (k3) — ABRAXAS @ 4:45 pm

This year’s MINA screening program features pocket films, mobile-mentaries and smartphone films from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden U.K. and the USA. The 2013 International Mobile Innovation Screening is curated by the MINA Screening Committee and Max Schleser in collaboration with MINA’s partner film festivals: iPhoneFF (USA), SEISFF (Korea), Cinephone (Spain), Mobile Film Festival (Macedonia), Mobil Film Festival (USA), Ohrenblick Mal and Mobile Streifen (Germany).

06 November | 6.30 – 7pm reception | 7pm – 8.30pm screening
Location: The New Zealand Film Archive – Te Anakura Whitiahua, 84 Taranaki Street
Ticket price: $8 Public | $6 Concession

21 November | 7pm – 8pm
22 November | 6pm – 7pm
The Auckland screenings are free and open to the public.
Location: AUT City Campus WG404, Level 4, WG Sir Paul Reeves Building, Governor Fitzroy Place

9 December | 5pm – 8pm
The Melbourne screenings are free and open to the public.
Location: Cinema, Swanston Academic Building, Swanston St

Mobile Phone Filmmaking Workshop
18 -19 November | 9am – 4pm
MINA co-founders, Laurent Antonczak and Max Schleser will be leading a two-day intensive workshop that will give an overview of the many styles and techniques used to create films using a mobile phone. Participants will explore the ideas, scripting, shooting and editing processes to enable them to produce a short film; whether it’s an educational video, experimental film or the next viral hit.
Cost: $75 – $150
Location: AUT City Campus WE402, Level 4, WE Art & Design Building, St Paul Street
Register: https://mobileworkshop2013.eventbrite.co.nz/

3rd Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium
21 – 22 November | 9am – 6pm
The Symposium provides a platform for filmmakers, artists, designers, researchers and industry professionals to debate the prospect of wireless, mobile and ubiquitous technologies in art and design environments, education, and the creative industries. Keynote speakers are Helen Keegan (University of Salford, UK) and Larissa Hjorth (RMIT University, Australia). Presenter topics range from ‘Twitter, Instagram and Micro Narratives’, ‘Collaborative Mobile-Mentaries (mobile documentary)’, ‘The Brown Book: Māori in Screen Production’ to Instagram Video and the Creation of Slow Media, ‘mobile location-based augmented reality gaming’ and ‘the democratization of Mobile Filmmaking’.
Cost: $45 – $130
Location: AUT City Campus WG403, Level 3, WG Sir Paul Reeves Building, Governor Fitzroy Place
View the programme: http://mina.pro/3rd-mobile-creativity-and-innovation-symposium/
Register: http://mina2013.eventbrite.co.nz/

MINA on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/178Fu0i
MINA on Twitter: @MINAmobile
MINA eBook: http://bit.ly/eBookMINA
For more information about MINA visit: www.mina.pro

November 18, 2013

sms sugar man cinematographer eran tahor represents the film in zimbabwe

Filed under: 2008 - sms sugar man,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 2:39 pm


October 25, 2013

aryan kaganof @stias

Filed under: kaganof,mobile filming,stellenbosched — ABRAXAS @ 4:06 pm


July 31, 2013

lizelle bisschoff and ann overbergh on sms sugar man

Filed under: 2008 - sms sugar man,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 10:11 am


from “digital as the new popular in african cinema? case studies from the continent” published in research in african literatures, vol.43, no.4 (winter 2012)

June 17, 2013

mina 2013

Filed under: Max Schleser,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 10:41 pm

Dear colleagues,

apologies for X-posting.

Please see below the #MINA2013 [Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa] call for projects, papers and smartphone, mobile and pocket films.

Feel free to forward the MINA call for mobile films [http://mina.pro/?p=1660] and papers [http://mina.pro/?p=1655] to anyone who might be interested.

Do not hesitate to contact me at any time shall you have any further questions regarding the upcoming MINA events.

With best wishes,



MINA — 2013 | Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa

3rd International Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium and Screening


20 – 22 November 2013

Deadline for 350-500-word Abstracts for papers and proposals 16th August 2013


Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa [ MINA – www.mina.pro ] is an international network that promotes cultural and research activities to expand the emerging possibilities of mobile media. MINA aims to explore the opportunities for interaction between people, content and the creative industry within the context of Aotearoa/New Zealand and internationally.

This year MINA is pleased to announce that the School of Art & Design (AUT University) and CoLab (Creative Technologies Research Institute for the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at AUT University) will co-host its 2013 International Symposium & Screening to be held at AUT University’s Auckland City campus, in collaboration with the College of Creative Arts, Massey University (Wellington).

The Symposium provides a platform for filmmakers, artists, designers, researchers and industry professionals to debate the prospect of wireless, mobile and ubiquitous technologies in art and design environments and the creative industries.


MINA invites proposals for papers and presentations relating, but not limited to mobile communities, mobile social media and social change, mobile art, mobile locative media, citizen journalism, mobile visual literacy, mobile video production, mobile-mentaries (mobile documentaries), mobile network, mobile media in education and mobile technologies and civic media.

This year the circulation of smartphones outnumbered the volume of mobile phones. Most mobile devices (including tablets and pocket size digital cameras) have a HD video capacity and provide Internet connectivity. Since the proliferation of apps five years ago, new opportunities for creative mobile media production emerged. Mobile filmmaking is now an established format ranging from music video to TV commercial production. A number of contemporary apps feature location-based services that can create new experiences and representations of places. Mobile filmmaking also provides prospects for citizen journalist to expand the domain of videography. Contemporary forms of collaborative filmmaking projects connect 21st century citizens and filmmakers across the globe creating new forms of digital, networked and transmedia storytelling. As an egalitarian filmmaking tool and technology, mobile filmmaking provides access to a new generation of filmmakers. In alignment with the ubiquity of social media, mobile communication is shifting towards an increasingly visual realm. Live streaming and micro formats of mobile filmmaking can be compared to early cinema and actuality film, while mobile short films resonate approaches and practices known from the field of experimental documentary and avant-garde moving-image practices.

The 3nd International Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium will explore the following mobile developments and dynamics in a transdisciplinary context.








MINA welcomes presentations in a variety of formats including academic papers, workshops, poster presentations, performances, project showcases and screenings. The 3nd International Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Symposium will also provide the opportunity to present papers via live video and live web-broadcasts. For each submission, please send:

– a proposal / abstract of approximately 400 words, including the title

– a brief biographical (100 words maximum)

Abstracts for papers and proposals of up to 500 words should be submitted by the 16th of August 2013. Please include a title and brief biographical note and send to laurent@mina.pro

All proposals will be double peer reviewed and presenters will be notified of acceptances by 16th of September 2013. All selected papers will be published in the Creative Technologies Journal – Special Mobile Edition.

If you have any questions related to conference proposals please contact Laurent Antonczak [ laurent@mina.pro | +64 211 625 072 ]. For further information, please check also: www.mina.pro


MINA — 2013 | Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa

3rd International Mobile Innovation Screening

Deadline for Mobile Films submission: 16th August 2013

The Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa [ MINA ] aims to explore the possibilities of interaction between people, content and the creative industries.

The International Mobile Innovation Screening 2013 will showcase short films produced on and with smartphones, mobile and pocket cameras. This year MINA is pleased to announce that the School of Art & Design (AUT University) and CoLab (Creative Technologies Research Institute for the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at AUT University) will co-host the 3rd International Mobile Innovation Screening to be held at AUT University’s Auckland City campus, in collaboration with the College of Creative Arts, Massey University (Wellington).

Working in collaboration with Ohrenblick Mal (Germany), iPhone Popup Film Festival (UK) International Mobil Film Festival and iPhone Film Festival (USA), MINA showcases mobile filmmaking projects from around the world at the 3rd International Mobile Innovation Screening in Wellington (November 2013) Film Archive, Auckland (21st and 22nd November 2013), AUT University, Auckland City campus new Precint building and Melbourne (9th December 2013), RMIT University.

Selected mobile films will be featured in the MINA showreel. The MINA program is curated by Dr. Max Schleser (Massey University, Wellington, NZ) and Laurent Antonczak (AUT University, Auckland, NZ).

For each submission, please send:

– a proposal of approximately 250 words, including the mobile film title

– two still images

– the link to the online preview (if available)

– a brief biographical (100 words maximum)

to Dr. Max Schleser [ max@mina.pro ]. For further assistance regarding submission enquiries, please contact Dr. Max Schleser [ max@mina.pro | +64 226 920 872 ] or check also: www.mina.pro

Work can be sent in digital format, via post or courier:

Dr. Max Schleser

c/o MINA, School of Design

Po Box 756, Wellington 6140

New Zealand

MINA 2012 showreel: http://vimeo.com/51724574

Max Schleser

[MINA] Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa

e: max@mina.pro
m: + 64 22 692 0872
w: www.mina.pro
t: @MINAmobile

May 12, 2013


Filed under: Max Schleser,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 10:12 am

May 8, 2013

ak cellular

Filed under: catherine henegan,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 3:53 pm


March 29, 2013

nokia lumia 920

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 5:11 pm


February 19, 2013

the amazing evolution of mobile film making

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 8:54 am

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 8.53.17 AM

keep reading this article here: http://conversations.nokia.com/2013/02/18/lights-mobile-action-the-amazing-evolution-of-smartphone-film-making/

February 9, 2013

caridad botella on the aesthetics of cell phone films

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 9:30 am

Screen shot 2013-02-09 at 9.28.34 AM

keep reading this article here: http://artpulsemagazine.com/the-aesthetics-of-cellphone-made-films

May 4, 2012


Filed under: 2008 - sms sugar man,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 11:35 pm

SMS SUGAR MAN is a feature film that incorporates new cell phone technologies in a highly innovative manner.

The film is not only actually shot on cell phone cameras, in itself a revolutionary breakthrough, but the cell phone plays a vital role in driving the film’s narrative – in effect functioning as a dramatic character.

All the lead actresses carry a cell phone and constantly film each other. Thus the traditional cinematic practice of having a “cast” who are invisibly filmed by a “crew” of technicians – is radically subverted.

In SMS SUGAR MAN cast and crew fuse – the actresses are in control of filming each other – and in monologue scenes, -themselves.

This conceptual leap mirrors the tremendous empowering effect that cell phone technology has had on our every day lives.

The plot of the film is entirely driven around the potential that cell phones have to enable us to explore new forms of communication and new ways of representing ourselves. The consequences of these innovations are hardly studied as yet, and SMS SUGAR MAN makes a contribution to our understanding of how significant cell phone technology has been on the evolution of our social development.

Cell phone media have become so much part of our daily living that it would be impossible to conceive of an urban environment without them. SMS SUGAR MAN is a prescient glimpse into the near future when all our most basic relations with each other are informed by cell phone use, including sexuality and spirituality.

February 11, 2012

the mobile aesthetics of cell phone made films: a short history

Filed under: Max Schleser,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 8:17 pm

this article first published here: http://cinemiz.net/cifj/?p=1385

December 20, 2011


Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 2:21 pm

December 5, 2011

Olive, first film to be shot entirely on Smartphone, heads to cinemas

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 1:40 pm

The first feature film shot entirely on a smartphone will have its theatrical premiere in Los Angeles on 16 December.

Olive, billed as a film about “a little girl who transforms the lives of three people without speaking one word”, was filmed on a Nokia N8, which was double-taped to a set of traditional film-camera lenses.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, director Hooman Khalili described how he had to hack the phone to turn off its auto-zoom and auto-focus features in order to get the technology to behave as he wanted. “The camera thinks it knows what you want to focus on,” he said. “But it doesn’t know.”

The rest of the film’s production was more conventional. Khalili hired a casting director, location scouts, make-up artists and a Hollywood star (two-time Oscar nominee Gena Rowlands), bringing the total budget up to $500,000. The money was supplied by Chris Kelly, former chief privacy officer at Facebook, when Nokia turned down Khalili’s request for funding.

While he is the first to go full-length, Khalili is not alone in experimenting with mobile movie-making. Oldboy director Park Chan-wook announced that he was filming a 30-minute short on the iPhone earlier this year. His film, called Paranmanjang (Korean for “a life full of ups and downs”), is a fantasy horror about a troubled father-daughter relationship.

Olive will be screened at the Laemmle Fallbrook 7 cinema in West Hills, LA, making it eligible for consideration in the Oscars race. The first five minutes of the film are available to watch above and on the official Olive website.

this article first published here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/dec/02/olive-film-shot-on-smartphone<.a<

November 10, 2011

on mobile penetration in africa

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 1:02 pm

October 17, 2011

SMS Sugar Man: a conversation with Mobile Phone Designer, JOAKIM MARTENSSON

Filed under: 2008 - sms sugar man,mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 10:22 pm

Q: What motivated the idea of adding cameras to mobile phones? How and where did the trend start?

A: When you think about it, it’s a very natural evolution. Mobile phones are all about communication. Voice and text messages can only go so far in relaying information. As the saying goes, “a picture says more than a thousand words”. Actually, I may not agree fully on that statement, but often a picture can convey information much more effectively than words or text.

Philippe Kahn is generally attributed with inventing the mobile phone camera in 1997, although one should perhaps note that his invention was a camera accessory for mobile phones. Sharp was the first company to develop a mobile phone with a digital camera integrated in 2000. At this time it was popular amongst youths in Japan to use photo machines, similar to common ID photo machines, but aimed at printing “fun” pictures. The quality of these prints were rather low, but they were still very popular and available nearly everywhere.

The first cameraphones were rather expensive and aimed at a more “mature” group, but the image quality was rather poor and the resolution low. So the high-tech buyers were disappointed in them. But the youths, who were used to the lower quality of the photo prints, didn’t mind much and soon they were popular in this demographic group for which they weren’t originally intended.

Even though the success of cameraphones in Japan can be attributed to that it’s a country where new and advanced tech is adopted early, I don’t think that’s necessarily the only reason. Cameraphones have been a success worldwide with very little variations. I think it’s more attributed to the basic appeal of images, of how they can be used to capture a moment. Mobile phones have two big advantages over digital cameras, and that is that people normally always carry one so they’re always at hand when something happens that you want to record. The second advantage is that the mobile phone is of course first and foremost an communications device, so it’s possible to send your pictures or videos to friends as soon as you’ve recorded them.

Q: Video recording requires instantaneous processing of enormous amounts of information, how does SonyEricsson overcome this obstacle on such a small unit?

A: The W900i has a dedicated chip that allows for recording and playback of 30fps QVGA video. It does make the W900i a little more expensive, but it also gave it an edge that few competitors could rival at the time it was released on the market.

Q: Can you explain the technical elements of the phone of the specific Sony Ericsson W900i, that was used to shoot SMS SUGAR MAN? Both video and audio?

A: Sorry, no. But we do have white papers available that covers the technical aspects in general terms.

Q: To the best of my knowledge, at the time of filming Smssugarman, the Sonyericsson w900i was the first mobile phone camera to feature adjustable/auto focus. How did you achieve that?

A: Well, that’s one example of when we’ve had great help of one of our mother companies – Sony has a long experience in digital cameras. It’s definitely an advantage that they are able to provide us with a lot of technology and insight in that area.

Q: Can you describe the optical part of the camera? The choice of lens size and glass quality?

A: I’m afraid that’s outside my area of expertise. We have an dedicated optics team that are responsible for the camera and lens so I’m not directly involved in that.

Q: Can you describe briefly the compression (H263) and recording format that you chose to use in the W900i (frame rate, file size, compatibility, etc.)

A: H263 is a low-bitrate encoding that was originally developed for video conferencing, but later was found to be suitable for video in phonecams. The file format, .3gp is a standard that is supported by all the market’s big phone manufacturers and operators. Part of it’s purpose is to ensure compatibility, so that a video recorded in one mobile phone can be sent and viewed in another regardless of manufacturer or net.

Q: Most phones do not record at 30 fps. The Sony Ericsson W900i does. Why did you go for such a fps design?

A: Besides being an Walkman-branded product and thus audio-focused, the W900i was also created with the intent of giving an (at the time it was released) unparallelled imaging experience that could do the large 2.2 inch display justice. It was to that end that the camera components were chosen. Like I mentioned before, the W900i makes use of a dedicated chip for encoding and decoding video for better image quality.

Q: Today, most editing software come with codecs used in mobile phones video recordings. Does Sonyericsson collaborate with post production software creators such as Final Cut, Avid or Adobe?

A: Yes. For example, current Sony Ericsson camera phones ship with PC software from Adobe for editing and organizing photos. We don’t include any specific video editing software right now though – or maybe I should add, “as far as I know”, because we produce a lot of phone models, and in different parts of the world, and I’m not personally involved in all of them.

Our application planners are constantly talking to partners, potential partners and other interesting third-party developers to see if there are interesting software we could include, and also to help them support (for example) the codecs and formats we use in our phones for better compatibility.

And of course, some of the larger operators supply their own customized software packages.

Q: LG already have a 5 mega pixel camera out. What significant improvements in terms of the quality of the optics used and picture resolution are you planning in the near future?

A: That’s a sensitive area, so I can’t mention any specifics. We are looking into a number of interesting techniques and hardware.

In more general terms, you can see that the mega pixel race is still ongoing. You mentioned the 5 Mega pixel LG phone, but Samsung have a 10 Mega pixel phone that is sold in Korea.

Also, camphones with optical zoom are starting to appear, which is nice although it does require more space for the camera lens in the phones. I’ve also seen that several vendors employ various real-time or post processing image filters to help improve image quality.

Q: Most of the design is around amateur users. Have you or will you be looking at professional users in the future?

A: We have a wide product segment – from basic phones that are mostly for talking and sending SMS as well as advanced smartphones that are more like mobile computers and are aimed mainly for business professionals. Cameraphones are available on nearly that whole spectrum, and how advanced they are varies depending on the price range and whether or not they’re mainly aimed for imaging use or not.

Still, the vast majority of our customers are amateurs users and that is something we must take into account when designing the products. And as a result, it’s mostly also that kind of people we perform studies and product tests on, since they’re usually chosen to be representative for the overall market.

That said, I have occasionally consulted professionals and semi-professionals when doing the design. I think it’s them that has has the best potential to give me insight into the problems, advantages/disadvantages and workarounds that they need to consider on a daily basis.

Q: Seeing that there is a growing use of mobile phones in professional image recording what channels do you have available for professional users/cinematographers/filmmakers to communicate with you, give feedback or get help?

A: Aside from our normal support functions such as call centers and webpages, we don’t have any forum specifically for professional filmmakers.

Q: In relation to the above question how can you create a forum where filmmakers collaborate and interact with independent developers to design applets and modify the recording settings on the phones?

Q: Is the video recording software of the W900i and its predecessors open to modifications – such as manual aperture control, gain and effects?

A: On the W900i, no. But in our later models the camera can be controlled by Java programs, so it’s fully possible to develop your own customized camera interface and controls, given that you have the programming skill. More information is available at: http://developer.sonyericsson.com/site/global/techsupport/tipstrickscode/java/p_camera_control_jsr234_jp7phones.jsp

And since the Java interfaces is constantly being updated and extended, I dare say we can expect a lot more control over the camera to be added in the future.

Q: Do you think that in future models the camera part of the phone and especially its optics will work as a detachable unit, so that users could use different lenses with the camera?

A: Right now I don’t think that’s very likely. It is a little too specialized use case, and generally people aren’t too keen about having detachable parts on their phones since they’re apt to be lost.

I still wouldn’t rule it out entirely though, and there might be solutions that circumvents the problems. For instance, Kodak recently released a compact digital camera with two lenses – one normal and one for wide angle shots.

Q: What is your vision of cellphones as viewing platforms for movies and mobile TV?

A: Well, first of all I think it’s important to understand that viewing a movie or tv on a mobile phone is a new way of experiencing media. It is not done in the comfort of your home – or at a cinema. Occasionally people might want to view a full lenght movie or a longer tv-show – for example on a longer train trip. But the main use case for viewing media in a mobile phone is as a short timekiller. Most operators and tv-producers are starting to realize that content needs to be formatted – and produced – specially for the smaller screen. In a way, it is perhaps more similar to teather than movies in that the actors need to make sure gestures and expressions are very visible (or audible).
Another thing to note is that much of what is called Mobile TV today is actually streamed media, which generally has a rather low quality since it’s highly compressed and this affects the viewing experience. “True” Mobile TV, DVB-H, is broadcast much like ordinary TV, which allows for better quality and higher framerate. In recent tests conducted in Stockholm, it became evident that people actually viewed Mobile TV for longer periods than was previously expected – 15 minutes in average.

Q: Can you comment on the revolutionary idea of users being in control of the production and distribution of their own mobile content?

A: Wow, that’s not an easy question to answer shortly. The success of such websites as YouTube has proven that the need for people to express themselves by moving pictures are almost as big as that for still pictures. And not to forget Podcasts and video blog sites as well as sites devoted to fanfilms. And these are just a few of the ways basically anyone with the time and interest can publish their own works.

It is also interesting to note that the costs for equipment needed for producing at least near-professional-quality movies or shorts have dropped to price ranges that amateurs can afford. You can even find free alternatives that in many aspects are on par with professional software. Two examples that comes to mind is Jashaka (editing and effects system) and Blender (3D modeling and rendering), both of which are open projects.

Q: Many short films and user generated content have been shot with Mobile Phones. Is this the first feature film to be shot using mobile phones as the cameras?

A: I’ve seen a music videos shot with cameraphones (SonyEricsson K750i phones actually) – and films including short sequences shot with cameraphones – but to the best of my knowledge SMS Sugar Man is the first feature film shot entirely with cameraphones.

Q: The phone has become a universal tool, with the camera as an integral part of it. How did you approach the design of the phone with cinematography in mind, bearing in mind that it was shot in December 2005?

A: To be quite honest, cinematography wasn’t our first priority when designing the W900i. Our main concerns was that it should be easy to record a video and to send it. But nowdays, almost all our cameraphones has an video editing application integrated called VideoDJ. With it you can do some basic editing, like cutting, mixing different clips together, adding text and sound et cetera.

Q: What tests etc did you undertake whilst designing the camera?

A: At Sony Ericsson we employ a user centered design philosophy. In essence, we design the interface, test the design on real users in our usability lab and then iterate the design according to the feedback. In parallell to this the technical teams conduct their tests on the hard- and software, such as the camera optics, the interface responsiveness et cetera. It’s a always ongoing process that continues even between projects.

Q: And where do you want to evolve to, what is the future of recording sound and picture on phones?

A: I don’t expect we’ll ever be truly able to compete with professional camera or video recorders, because unlike those devices a mobile phone is not dedicated to a single task (recording video or taking pictures), so we always will have to make compromises in the design. For example, phones are expected to be as small and light as possible, but it is an advantage for a camera to have a little more weight and size, since it makes it steadier to handle.

But image resolution and quality will inevitably increase, as well as FPS and overall capabilities.

We can certainly compete with small compact cameras. Like I’ve mentioned previously, two big advantages of mobile phones is that you always carry them with you – so why bring a second camera? And the possibility to instantly send your pictures and videos to your friends that makes it more than just a camera, but also a communication device. Or even publish on-line if you like to.

Q: Do you think SMS SUGAR MAN will revolutionize the future of filmmaking, and if so, in what way?

A: I think that SMS SUGAR MAN is a pioneering effort that is important since it proves what is possible to achieve if you just dare to do something a little different, hopefully leading the way for others to follow. Time will tell, but it could very well be the start of a wave of new indie films.

On an more artistic level, I do admire the way you’ve managed to make use of the limitations of the medium and turn them into advantages. From what I’ve seen of it, SMS SUGAR MAN has a very distinct look and feel to it.

Joakim Martensson
Interaction Designer
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications

Joakim works as an interaction designer at Sony Ericsson, and is responsible for the usability – or, in other words, the usefulness and ease-of-use – and design of the camera interface. He spends a lot of time thinking about how to make the camera phones easier to use and how to best add new features and functions.

October 4, 2011

mobile film competition

Filed under: mobile filming — ABRAXAS @ 11:52 am

The Arterial Network and the DOEN Foundation call for submissions of short films shot on cell phones for its first Mobile Phone Film Competition. The films will be evaluated by experts in various fields and public awareness and participation will be increased by on-line voting. So, anyone with a cell phone will now be able to become a filmmaker in the Arterial Network/DOEN Foundation Mobile Phone Film Competition. The festival aims at providing an opportunity to anyone to create and capture images to tell a story using mobile phones, the most accessible technology on the African continent.

Prizes for winners are as follows:
First Prize: 1000 Euros
Second Prize: 500 Euros
Third Prize: 250 Euros
Audience Choice Award: 150 Euros

Other prizes such as filmmaking training opportunities for the winners are currently being negotiated.


General Submission Guidelines

1.Films may be on any theme but they must be original and tell a story (no documentaries or citizen journalism pieces will be accepted at this stage).
2.All films must be shot by cell phone to be viewed on a cellphone or computer screen.
3.Film may be submitted in French, English, Swahili, Arabic or Portuguese.
4.The running time for films may vary in length from 60 seconds to a maximum of 300 seconds (5 minutes).
5.Only work created by Africans living on the African continent will be considered.
6.Work submitted without a submission form will not be considered.
7.Films may only be in a Quicktime or Windows Media Player format.
8.File size must not exceed 10MB
9.Screen dimensions must be: Width = 320 pixels, Height = 240 pixels

Submissions must reach Arterial Network on or before 31 October 2011. Films may only be submitted electronically.
Download the Film Competition Application Form from here

Arterial Network reserves the right to select the best 10-25 films submitted and compile a collection for the purpose of promoting African filmmaking – and the winning entries in particular – on the African continent and internationally at film festivals and other distribution outlets. To this end, the copyright of the film will remain with the copyright holder/creator but Arterial Network may use the work for non-commercial purposes.

Arterial Network may disqualify entrants who go against the stipulated guidelines and the terms outlined above

more information here: http://arterialnetwork.org/page/competition

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