Sony Experia smartphones: Less talk, more video!

Director Tom Harper, Bafta-winning director (Misfits, This Is England, The Borrowers and his critically acclaimed début feature film Scouting Book For Boys) and Sony Experia fan, had an awesome assignment: shoot an alien invasion film (ala Attack The Block) with minimal resources at hand: a script, some Sony Experia smartphones and a small cast of actors and crew. Sound like a dream job?
Tom Harper is onto something with his Swarmy Smartphone, indeed.
From the look of things over at Sony Experia Studios HQ, the list of awesomeness is getting longer, indeed. Jump over there and you’ll find a handful of forward-moving folks, all users of the Experia smartphones to shoot fantastic work, unencumbered by large budgets, large scale crews and tons of equipment. One of these films was shot in 360 degree panoramic, using multiple Experia smartphones to record a wild mountain bike ride in Utah.  Amazing. I want to be there.
Harper’s “Swarm” short was written by “Skins” writer Geoff Bussetil,  commissioned by digital agency LBi. Graham Hodge, Head Of Branded Content at LBi, was leading the charge to show off Sony’s Experia Studio. Hodge says; “Tom was a perfect fit. He saw the opportunity to make a very different kind of film. The result is an aesthetic we haven’t really seen before. When aliens really do invade London, this is how we will witness it”.
Well, if you aren’t including Cloverfield, that may be true, but I applaud his enthusiasm for handheld smartphone films, surely.  Click the image, below for the short-

Harper shares his take on the gig;  “If something weird like an alien invasion did happen, such an event would undoubtedly be first filmed on a mobile and this short movie tries to put that across. With ‘proper’ movies you can always hide behind a script, with a mobile phone it is immediately and scarily exhilarating. For film-makers such a stripped-down approach is very appealing”.  More behind the scenes with Tom and company if you click the pic…

What I find exciting is the possibility/ rising opportunities to use smartphones to make films.
Less as anomalies and more as an additional tool to keep handy as an aid in capturing footage to tell a story that need not be hobbled due to constraints typical with ‘proper’ movies. I can think of so many folks yearning to get a film out of their heads and onto screens, but lack the tools, money, resources and whatnot to get this to happen. This hold huge promise for web video, as well, methinks. Funny thing, this stuff ain’t all that new– it’s just the tech is getting better all the time.
Award winning South Korean director Park Chan-wook used an iPhone to make a 33-minute feature Night Fishing. Hooman Khalili shot and released his feature film, OLIVE  last year (starring Golden Globe winner Gena Rowlands), and Majek Pictures is producing Goldilocks, a ‘Bourne Ultimatum on an iPhone’ web series, complete with iOS app.
Smartphone filmfests are coming to the fore, spotlighting video shot entirely on smartphones, such as the Indifone Film Festival.
I for one am looking forward to seeing more stuff coming from experienced directors and storytellers– if for no other reason than to inspire burgeoning filmmakers to get out there and shoot something with what tools they have in hand, literally. It’s all about the story. Get out there and get it. A computer and a smartphone is all you need. Fantastic. 
On another note, cellular communications towers have been linked to the mass onslaught on honey bee’s– and with that, a dramatic, catastrophic effect on crop and flower harvests, insect life in general, the bird and bat pollution, etc. It’s all a chain, right? So, with less talking on cellular devices, we could be doing the world a whole lot of good.
My take on this: we make more films with our handhelds, and talk less. Yeah, I’m a dreamer. But why not?
Shooting video with a smartphone? Got something cool to see? Shoot a link over.
Cheers, M.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s