MobiFilm Academy
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Mobile filmmaking seeks to reinvent the way people view filmmaking by making it easier and more accessible through the use of video-camera phones. Mobile phone users now have the opportunity to learn how to create their own personal documentaries with their phones, allowing for new kinds of content creation that will contribute to the evolution of both documentary Filmmaking and the way this content is consumed by mobile phone users.
It's more than two thousand years since Aristotle discovered the phenomenon of the persistence of vision. The very first moving pictures appeared just over one hundred years ago and, since then, the technology of moving pictures has been accelerating on an exponential scale. The cameras of a hundred years ago were as big as a refrigerator, cost a fortune – and the pictures were grainy, flickery, black and white with no sound.
But now you can carry a camera that's a thousand times better than that in the palm of your hand. Because it's built into your telephone, it adds no extra weight, and it's with you twenty-four hours a day. So when you see your team take that penalty, you're ready to shoot the winning goal. Even better, you can send the recording direct from your camera to your friend who's
still at work.

Your mobile phone camera can do what no other video camera can:

  • It's with you all day, every day. Just grab it, aim, and shoot. Whenever the inspiration strikes.
  • It can help you share wonderful moments; if your aunt in Taipei can't be at the wedding or birthday, she can see the happy couple, or the candles being blown out just as if she were there.
  • If you chance upon a newsworthy event, you can record it. And maybe even sell the result for a small fortune!
  • You can create a visual diary that will delight you and others in years to come.

There is no limit to what you can do with a mobile phone camera. But it lends itself to a certain kind of film:

  • Short features of about thirty to sixty seconds
  • Personal events you'd like to share or keep
  • Spontaneous events you can't predict

But there's more. Much more. With a mobile phone camera you can be the next Spielberg. It's the perfect device for learning the art of filmmaking. With its instant editing and playback it can help you develop your skill like no other system.

Our lessons and exercises are designed to help you take advantage of your mobile phone camera in ways you never imagined.

We can't promise that Hollywood will be on the line within weeks but, let's face it, Spielberg didn't make Jaws until he was nearly thirty. Maybe if he'd had a mobile phone camera…

But one small tip: Don't just point and shoot. Yes, I know some cameras are advertised as being just that - ‘point and shoot'. That approach might work for some still picture cameras but, with video, it really helps to think just a bit before pointing.

And, if you disagree, may I suggest you call on your best friend just as he's about to screen three hours of his holiday in Phuket? If he's a typical video camera owner, you'll be
asleep or seasick before the end of the first reel.

So how come you don't fall asleep when you go to see the latest Bruce Willis release?

Well apart from the budget, the main difference is planning- meaning thinking about the shoot before doing it.

What am I going on about? Okay. A picture speaks a thousand words, they say. So at
twenty-five frames a second, a one minute video should be er… the equivalent of one and a half million words.

Here are two videos that were shot on the mobile phone camera:

  That was 'point and shoot'. Hmmm. The best thing about it was that it lasted less than a minute!   Now have a look at a very similar version; for this, the cameraman thought about what he was going to do before switching on. Not too long; less than thirty seconds. Planning makes all the difference.  

Better? I hope you think so. Not flawless; there was one big deliberate error in there – more of that later. But that thirty seconds worth of thinking made it into a story, not a rag-bag collection of boring jerky shots.

Of course, you can't plan properly just like that. A brain surgeon only needs a few minutes to plan a routine operation; but he couldn't do the planning without seven years of training.

Video shooting doesn't need seven years of training; after all, it's not brain surgery! But a little bit of study, plus thirty seconds of planning, can turn a horror into a masterpiece.

And that's what you'll find here. A few simple study aids to help get your creative juices flowing. And, maybe, win a few competitions.

Better get your acceptance speech ready…

P.S. Did you spot the deliberate error? If you did, congratulations. You're one lesson ahead already.

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