Max Schleser

Mobile-mentary (mobile documentary) 2.0

Mobile filmmaking entered the mediascape from 2004 onwards and not only introduced a new aesthetic but also established prospects for cultural innovation. The paper will point at the development in mobile video towards the sociability (de Souza e Silva 2006) and ‘connectivity’ of mobile filmmaking. The transformation of audience in creating these new documentary practices as an alternative cultural practice (Schleser 2009) is an indicator for not only a transforming art and design environment but also the emergence of a new understanding of creative processes. In the recent study Documentary and New Digital Platforms – an ecosystem in transition, one of the key elements outlined in the report by the Documentary Network is the dynamic new relationship with audiences. The current work-in-progress 24 Frames 24 Hours investigates the new forms of  “cultural mediation” (Houle 2011).  24 Frames 24 Hours is an international collaborative mobile documentary capturing the life in 24 hours in 24 different cities. The project kick started with an international collaborative mobile film-making workshop in Paderborn (Germany) and Wellington (New Zealand) and one in New York City (USA). The project examines collaborative practices and applies Cinéma vérité and Kino-Pravda practices in the digital realm. The study draws upon new paradigms of participation and simultaneously analyses creative processes. Besides the aesthetic refinement, the research project functions as a prototype for community involvement through creative practices.  The paper will review contemporary crowd-sourcing film projects and will analyse the emerging distinction between collaborative and co-creative practices.  Moreover the paper points at the industry presideces and will argue that process driven and participatory approaches require new frameworks to evaluate these media text. The paper will relate these developments to the bigger picture of innovation through a user-based interpretation of technology (Edgerton 2007) and will examine collaboration as a creative process (Gauntlett 2011).
Dr. Max Schleser is a filmmaker who explores mobile devices as creative and educational tools. Max is Subject Director Digital Media at Massey University and co-founder of FILMOBILE ( and MINA (, Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa.