Smartphone Movie: Is it possible?

Smartphones. They are fantastic for many things. Checking Emails on the move, updating Twitter status’s (sometimes even simultaneously) and playing games. One thing that does come in handy is the camera. Every smartphone has one, usually somewhere between 2MP and 8MP is considered “high quality” on phones nowadays. Most also offer camcorder functionality which, unlike their professional counterparts, are notorious for taking relatively low quality video’s. That, of course, depends on various aspects and conditions. The phone i have, the Samsung Galaxy Y has a recording quality of 240p, which is acceptable for the live streams i do, but not for movie recordings. That being said, the photo’s are not that bad.

Way back in April 2012, I was watching “Click”, a technology programme on the BBC News channel, which, just recently, got a place on BBC Two, due to it’s popularity. The cast and crew decided to test camera’s on Smartphones, using the IPhone 4s (the latest IPhone out at the time) as an example. The challenge they set themselves was to produce a short film using only apps and technology used on a smartphones. The crew decided to accept and used various apps like “Action Movie FX” and “Filmic Pro”, while using accessories such as the iRig Microphone (with optional, but not necessary, kung-fu moves to keep it steady) and a phone tracking shot glider, which allows for smooth filming with the phone moving and other such attachments. Which got me thinking, could we do the same, without spending as much as “Click” did for their movie, but making a respectable quality Movie in the Process. You can view how Click made theirs here: 

That idea eventually evolved into making a series on Youtube, which,at the moment, it has the working title called “Holmes”, a detective type drama in which a DI and his assistant try to solve a very complex murder. Think of “Death In Paradise” and “Sherlock” and your half-way there. Its entirety will be shot on a smartphone. Me and Jamie (my partner in crime, literally) will be using a Samsung Galaxy S-I for all the recording. Partly because it’s camera is 3MP better than mine, and it can record in full 1080p HD. With phone choice sorted, there are a few other things I need to start making this series.

Apps. That’s what I need. For the basic recording, we’ll be using both “Camera FV-5” and the stock camcorder application. “Ultimate special fx” will be used for our sfx. For the soundtrack, this will be handled by “SunVox”, which is a synthesizer for creating professionally sounding music. For recording video calls, we opted for “zscreen recorder pro”, which is an Android screen recorder used to record promo video’s. Though it requires root permissions, it’s worth it for this application.

As much as I love applications, I do need some accessories to enhance the overall video. A cheap tripod from that well known discount store, modified by me to fulfill our needs cost £1, a bit of sellotape and cardboard. To capture audio, we’ll be using the “Ultra disk TSSC Microphone”. It’s the android equivalent of the IPhone’s “iRig”, except cheaper, smaller and has a 3 metre long cable.

There isn’t much else to say really. I’m really excited to start this, and I hope it turns out well!

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About Filmic James

A Youtuber who spends his time drawing and making 10 minute loops.
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