Nokia Music isn’t just about listening to your favourite tracks. It’s also about finding new ones, too. It’s this joy of discovery, which recently ledNokia Music in association with Sundance London, to launch the Nokia Music Short Film Competition. The aim is to have filmmakers showcase the amazing, unusual and unknown music scenes in their cities.
Filmmakers need to simply upload a short 15 to 60 secs video trailerby March 21st visualizing the underground music scene in their chosen city. If their idea is picked, they’ll receive Nokia Lumia 920s and a $5,000 budget to shoot their film, plus a guaranteed a special screening at the Sundance London Film & Music Festival (2013) in April.
One person who’s already been inspired by this idea and run with it is Aaron Rogers, a filmmaker from London. Using the Nokia Lumia 920, Aaron went out to investigate the underground scene in the UK capital.
As you can see from his one-minute short film, the result was spectacular. So we hooked up to find why the Nokia Lumia 920 is so good for shooting short movies. Here’s what Aaron had to say.
“The Nokia Lumia 920 is a slick and beautifully manufactured phone. The operating system is a joy to use and its performance is exceptional. As a filmmaker the main things I need in a camera are manual control over aperture, focus and ISO plus a choice of white balance presets relevant to my environment.”
A low light delight
“I’ve taken the phone to all of the shoots that I have been involved in plus more since having the device and have tried to incorporate it into the production as if I was solely using the footage shot on the phone. I have come across some really strong aspects of the camera. The phone deals with light really well – both in low light and in bright environments. However, in the video cameras settings by default, the white balance is set to ‘AUTO’, which does cause a few issues. This is due to the phone trying too hard to adjust to the mixture of colour temperatures in the room, so in hindsight set your white balance before shooting from the selection of presets available.”
Really impressive optics
“The OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) is really impressive. For those familiar with editing tools such as Adobe Premiere CS6 – It’s like having the ‘Warp Stabiliser’ plugin constantly turned on. The optics are really impressive for a phone. When comparing it to the iPhone 5 the colour, clarity and general look of the image far exceeds the iPhone.”
Focusing on focus
“The biggest challenge I found with the Lumia 920 is the focus. In the settings you have two options and that is to have ‘Continuous focus’ on or off. When this setting is on it does work very well at focusing on the thing most prominent in the image. However, lets say you were shooting through trees branches and you had your subject walking towards you in frame. The phone would really struggle at deciding what to focus on – the tree or the subject, and they aren’t subtle focus pulls.
So if you turned ‘Continuous focus’ off would you be able to manually focus on what you choose to? Afraid not – you then lose all ability to focus what so ever. You can’t press the shutter button half way down or even touch to focus as that initiates recording.“
A serious bit of kit for filmmakers
“Overall though the phones camera capabilities are really strong and show a big development in portable technology. I think it’s amazing how things have evolved the past 5 years. How you can now get perfectly good Full HD footage on a phone and how DSLR’s have had a massive influence on the film industry. As a whole I think the Lumia 920 is a serious bit of kit for the independent filmmaker due to how convenient it is to have a refined 1080p image in your pocket, that unless you tell someone -wouldn’t necessarily guess it was shot on a phone.”
It’s great to see that serious filmmakers are taking the Nokia Lumia 920 seriously. We’re convinced that smartphones can revolutionize filmmaking. But what about you? Is this the beginning of a whole new genre or just a cinematic flash in the pan? Lets us know your thoughts below.