#MadeOnAMobile – what’s it all about?

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2018 has been a whirlwind of increased demand for workshops precisely at a time when I decided to demonstrate the power of mobile film making with an hour long documentary – captured, edited and shared from a single iPad.

So I took a few hours recently to put a short film together to encapsulate what I’m up to, explain what #MadeOnAMobile is all about and demonstrate what it can do…

So if you can give me (literally) two minutes, I’ll bring you up to date…

Timelapse and Blendeo

If you’ve seen any of my work you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Timelapse.

For example:

It’s a shot-for-shot remake of the Netflix “House of Cards” intro captured using iMotion (for iOS in the App Store) on an iPad and an iPhone 4. I made “City of Design” over 3 years ago now and it’s due for an upgrade.

However, the point is, I love the technique. Mobile devices are perfect for capturing timelapse and there are so many uses which will add an extra dimension to your ‘mobile movie’ – illustrating the passing of time with a clouds shot; illustrating a busy conference hall with people filling a room or coming and going through the conference space; or simply speeding up a process that would be tedious in real time.

Over the past year, I’ve been using FilmicPro more often for timelapse, however iMotion has more control over intervals shorter than 1 second and is much better for these kinds of clips:

iMotion is a great app. If you’re new to mobile filmmaking then the free version has all you need to get to grips with the technique before you splash out on (£)2.99 for the full version! What FilmicPro offers is a better use of the camera capabilities of your phone or tablet, especially in low light. More on that soon.

And so to Blendeo.

Occasionally an app comes along that doesn’t appear to offer an awful lot. However, what I’ve found is that while Blendeo is deceptively simple, it not only looks good, but has practical benefits for your timelapse shots too.

I haven’t stopped using this app over the last month or so – importing my timelapse and regular filmed clips, and applying the motion blur effect. It’s possible to speed up or slow down your clip and add varying degrees of blur, from barely anything through to moving objects all but disappearing. And  I can think of any number of ways to use these effects.

Now, I have to say I haven’t yet used Blendeo to capture the time-lapse – I’m already spoiled for choice with iMotion and FilmicPro – and so I need to explore further.

So, here’s a short sample reel that I made the first week:

It occurred to me that, without seeing the original clips it’s hard to make the comparison. So here you go…

I’ve made two videos, one with, one without Blendeo. There are subtle differences in the edit but essentially it’s the same footage. Watch and let me know what you think…

First: Au natural…

Second: Au Blendeo…

 

I particularly like how, in the Blendeo version, static objects become more of a focus as everything around them becomes, well, a blur. Another benefit is that in the Blendeo version I was able to run the timelapse at twice the speed. Often timelapse can be jarring on the eyes. However, with the moving parts mostly ghosted out it’s possible to speed up the footage because the movement is muted. The impact of this will vary depending on your subject matter, but here, being able to have more of the bricks appear in place was a huge bonus and sold the effect of ‘the build’ even more.

But I’m keen to know what you think.

Let me know in the comments below or share this post and tweet me @OnTheSuperFly

If you have any filmmaking apps that you’d like me to try out then comment below, message me or Tweet me.

Cheers!

 

Get out of the way… and collaborate!

Are you collaborative?

Is your organisation?

We often say we are, but are we really? Do we ‘get in the way’ of the process?

Filmmaking, in theory, is a collaborative process. But like so many working partnerships (teams, institutions, organisations) some productions are bound to be more collaborative than others.

So often the tone is set from the top, but that’s not to say others can’t have an impact.

However, regardless of the leadership position you find yourself in – manager, team-leader, movie director – you could do a lot worse than take the advice of Hollywood musical legend Stanley Donen (Funny Face, On The Town, Singing in the Rain), as he collected his Academy Award (Oscar) for Life Achievement aged 72.

In a nutshell, he suggested we ‘hire great people and then get out of the way!

You know what, it’s a lot more showbiz-y, fun and entertaining the way he says it… watch in full below – and have a great Friday!

Comic Scene Podcast – interview

In February 2019 I sat down with Phillip Vaughan (@phillipbvaughan), host of the Comic Scene Podcast, to have a chat about how I started out as an illustrator of children’s comics and the artists, stories and publications that continue to inspire my work now as a designer and filmmaker.

Conversation included how I started at the Shoe People in Stourbridge (West Midlands), working on DC Thomson’s Dandy Comic Library Specials; old Marvel UK Hulk comics, Batman monthly, Batman Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, Tiger, the Beano and more…

The entire podcast is just over an hour so I’ve edited it down into two taster chunks to whet appetites.

You can find the full episode six here: https://player.fm/series/comic-scene-…

Please like, comment and share (in any order you choose!)

Open a scene like Hitchcock

So you make short films for your organisation?

Maybe you’re part of a comms team or your role includes documenting what you do to share with customers or staff. Where do you go for inspiration? What films can you watch to get ideas for work projects? Is it okay to open your film like Hitchcock?

alfred-hitchcock

This article (link below) breaks down how the Master of Suspense sets the scene for Rear Window. It’s the perfect example of how the genre of the film being made doesn’t matter – storytelling is the same no matter what you do.

Putting thought into where you point your camera – the composition, the angle, themovement – are all really important considerations. And the principles are the same no matter what you are capturing – a Hollywood blockbuster, a staff conference or a promo for your business.

And with most videos on social media (the intros at the very least) being watched with the sound off, there’s never been a better reason to mastering visual and silent storytelling. It not only guides your audience but may also encourage them to switch sound on and watch the rest of your film.

Read: Open a Scene like Hitchcock here

Capturing Creativity

Ever found yourself at 2am working on a passion project wondering why you do this to yourself?

But this is not about me. While I was making Open Close Movie last year I asked myself that question. It’s rhetorical really. I know my answer and I know I will do it to myself time and time again. However, I was intrigued to speak to others of whom I suspected the same was true.

Here are the first three in an occasional series of interviews with creatives I know who put themselves out there in various ways but with creativity in common.

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Another thing that they have in common is that they are all male. I have tried to redress the issue before now however timings haven’t worked out. However, there won’t be another episode until they do.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy these…

Alien Cormorant

Part one is Alan Cormack, member of (John Peel favourites) Spare Snare, who recorded an album in 2018 with Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Pixies). Alan takes on commissions (as he did for Open Close Movie) under the moniker of The Alien Cormorant and has supplied the music for all three of these episodes.

As with all of these episodes, this interview was shot, edited and shared from an iPad. If you’re interested in making films using mobile devices be sure and connect with me or join the #MadeOnAMobile LinkedIn Group.

In No2 of my #SuperFlyOnTheWall mini-docs, Dundee based comic book creator Monty Nero talks about his latest projects and what it takes to drive a successful Kickstarter campaign.

“Seeking Perfection – the Unofficial Guide to TREMORS” (cult classic monster movie from 1990 starring Kevin Bacon) was self published by Edinburgh based author and digital content producer, Jonathan Melville in 2015.

He’s currently working on his second book on the 1986 film Highlander.

This interview took place in January 2019.

If you enjoyed these are have feedback please comment or message me – especially if you have suggestions for future interviews! And remember, if you’re interested in making films using mobile devices be sure and connect with me or join the #MadeOnAMobile LinkedIn Group.

A share and a like is appreciated :)

Jon Gill is a freelance film maker and designer, working with people to explore challenges and opportunities for ‘building better’ – He designs and delivers practical, hands-on workshops in brand development, social media and film making. #MadeOnAMobile

Creative Pipeline, Perth

Creative Pipeline project is part of the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre, Perth. It supports young people age 16-25 who are currently not in education, employment or training into the Creative Industries.

In September of last year I had the privilege of working with Helen and some of the young people at Creative Pipeline. I provided training and ongoing support which enabled them to design, capture and edit a series of short films – the one below in particular – which illustrated the creative learning opportunities open to young people, creatives and small businesses in Perth and Kinross.

I’ve used the same approach with other groups: Fife Young Carers, The Young People’s Collaborative (V&A Dundee), Youth Action Group (The McManus Dundee, Museum and Art Gallery ), Young Inspector Volunteers (Care Inspectorate), 16+ Programme (Angus Council).

A couple of days of training isn’t always sufficient – this approach results in a completed final product and ongoing support and learning throughout the process with the participants presenting their own vision – not having it done for them.

If you think this could work for your project please get in touch.

You can find more about Creative Pipeline and the Perth and Kinross culture strategy here.