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#MadeOnAMobile – what’s it all about?

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…

Standing ovation in Cannes for iPhone shot movie

“He [Lelouch] told me it was the camera he’d been dreaming of his entire life”
– Maxime Heraud (cinematographer)

This insightful article on veteran Oscar-winning director Claude Lelouch demonstrates why more and more film makers are turning to the iPhone (and the FilmicPro camera app) to make intimate and authentic films.

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Lelouch and the iPhone rig used in the shooting of his latest film – with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook

In fact, the mobile filmmaking revolution in is compared here (by Lelouch’s cinematographer) to the nouvelle vague of cinema in the 60s…

Lelouch said: “I love shooting with an iPhone as I can film anywhere, anytime!
In 10 years’ time it will be the only way to film. It lets us come closer and capture better than anything ever before.”

Lelouch recently screened his new film Les Plus Belles Années d’une Vie (The Best Years of a Life) at Canne – it was partly shot on an iPhone.

You can read more at The Independent here.

So I’m curious – would you be encouraged or put off paying to watch a film (in a cinema) shot on a mobile device?

Please comment below.

6 Months of 100% Freelance

Snapseed 3

So, 1 July marked 6 months of 100% freelance and I have a few numbers that I’m quite pleased with.

Over 30 workshops.
23 of them #MadeOnAMobile (a handful of those are in the pic above).
That’s just over 300 people trained, most of them in mobile filmmaking, in 6 months.

This compares with 120 last year when I was freelance one day a week. That means, pro-rata, the business has scaled with the days 100% (5 x 120 = 600).

Now, that’s not to say I’ll get 300 in the second half of the year but it’s a goal! So, thank you to everyone who has booked me over the last 6 months – especially those who have booked me again. And again (and there are a few).

Thank you also to everyone who has taken part. The workshops are designed to be fun and there hasn’t been a single session where I got the feeling that people were not enjoying themselves – and I’ve enjoyed them all.

The feedback has also been great.
Apart from feedback on the workshop days themselves I’ve also had two people approach me (independently) at a conference last month and thank me for a workshop they were on last year and three years ago respectively. I asked if they’d be happy to share their experience with others and both agreed – so I had a quick chat with them on video and I’ll be sharing those very soon.

So, no time to be basking in the glory, your as good as your next job. Best get to it!

 

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-…

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