I read one of the most incredible articles I’ve ever read in a magazine in the Winter 2016 edition of MovieMaker. There were actually four articles tied into the one major topic “Smartphone Moviemaking 101.” (No link yet posted on the web to refer to). I actually wrote a short blog on my WordPress site on the coming era of smartphone films. See the article “Filmmaking Equality” at https://midnightoilstudios.org/2016/03/01/filmmaking-equality/. I simply touched on a few general aspects of smartphone filmmaking in my blog … more the new era that this filmmaking might user in.
For a while now, I’ve been getting more and more into using my iPhone 6 and the app FilmiC Pro to shoot videos for projects. Have been adding on extra gear to the iPhone and discovering the amazing capabilities of smartphone filmmaking. It’s interesting to me that the real revolution in the technology of making films might not necessarily be in cameras but the add-ons to our iPhones! One seldom realizes that an iPhone represents something that few film or video cameras have: huge, internal memory, brains. All this huge amount of GBs of memory in a small device carried 24/7 and used more than any other piece of technology is/will have a revolutionary effect on the content of films being created. I speculate a little on this in my above blog but your article really offers a practical roadmap for filmmakers.
A good friend of mine runs the oldest literary agency in San Francisco. After reading my blog “Filmmaking Equality” on smartphone filmmaking, he wrote back to me today saying “There’s a book in SmartFilms.” Saying this, I think he might have invented a new word to go with smartphone filmmaking: SmartFilms.
There is an opportunity for right now for someone to write a book based on SmartFilms that would cover this new area of filmmaking: the new content it brings (requiring new types of screenplays) as well as the new technology it uses. One of the key things to remember is that everyone potentially today carries around an entire film studio in their pockets. The power they have with their smartphone took many production people to equal little more than a decade or so ago. The smartphones give computer power at a very low price to anyone to make quality films. Traditional Hollywood with their Arris and Reds will always deny this. It’s certainly not in their interest to acknowledge that cinematography technology has been democratized. But this is in fact what is taking place.
FilmiC Pro / One of the Leading SmartFilm Apps
Publishers like Michael Wiese Productions or Focal Press would be good publishers for such a book. But film magazines like MovieMaker might want to consider publishing the book itself or even creating a new magazine or netzine for them. The publication would offer a community for this new type of filmmaking. I certainly think that a book like SmartFilms should be updated on a regular basis. In addition, there are tremendous possibilities for creating Webinars on various aspects of creating SmartFilms. Certainly Webinars are quickly becoming a new way of imparting information to filmmakers. The companies that create the various apps for SmartFilms, like Rode and Apple and Google, should be interested in supporting this community and in fact sponsoring projects. SmartFilm film festivals will surely rise in popularity in the next few years so this is another venue that app creators might want to sponsor. Some day, there might even be an entire studio (network, cable channel) that just does SmartFilms.
And behind the SmartFilm project, I think there should be some type of screenplay script that captures the true drama and dynamics of this new movement in filmmaking. Perhaps a documentary film of SmartFilm artists today? Or. even a dramatic film with real Hero and Villain characters? Whatever the case, I feel that McKee’s ideas of Storynomics need to be employed in carrying this out so that the project has drama and conflict and challenge to overcome in all of it. The little David of SmartFilms going against the Goliahs of Hollywood. (The average citizen – smartphone users – going against government – Hollywood – can be substituted here). Yes, SmartFilms offer a new technology and a new type of communication. At the same time, like all new technologies of communication, they offer a new type of political philosophy.