Mobile phones are creative media, getting more sophisticated all the time. No longer “just a phone”, these are serious visual creative tools, but the element of communication still remains, remediated as collaboration.
In this article we explore key trends in mobile media production and look at opportunities in New Zealand and beyond.
Collaborative design and emerging paradigms in the global environment.
Unlike the old days of media production where a small number of individuals had access to the expensive and complicated equipment required to (for example) make a film, today a growing number of people are carrying a discrete high quality HD camera integrated in their phone.
Within this context the role of the audience has transformed from a “sit back and be told culture which became entrenched in the twentieth century, towards the making and doing culture which could flourish in the twenty first”.
Today, mobile media provide new opportunities to engage audiences in a process of collaboration, which leads towards creating a relationship with the audience. Within the last 2 years, we have seen an international increase of:
- crowd funding (audience $ – relationship)
- crowd sourcing (audience engagement, resources, crowd labour, time)
- co-creation (audience ideation)
- user-generated content (video material)
- VC2 viewer created content (documentaries for TV)
This means that as designers, filmmakers and media professionals, we need to rethink how we conceive of the audience, moving from creation and delivery to collaboration and participation.
Are you sceptical? Check this article from the Guardian:
Scan popular visual culture websites such as Youtube, Dailymotion, Vimeo and so on and you can see that mobile media is the fertile site of creative exploration, and many of these projects involve some kind of audience participation/collaboration.
Here is a sample of collaborative projects using mobile phones:
- Humanity (Spike Lee + Nokia, 2008, USA)
- Map My Summer (Dr George Miller, Amy Gebhardt, Youtube and Screen Australia, 2011)
- Life in a Day (Ridley Scott and Kevin McDonald, Youtube, 2011)
With the growing interest in mobile media there are now lots of opportunities to create and share creative mobile content.
Here are the key international mobile phone festivals, which have appeared in the last few years:
- Mobilefest (Brazil)
- MovilFilm (Brazil)
- Pocket Shorts (France)
- HeARTbest Festival (Russia)
- Mobifest (Canada)
- MobileScreenfest (Australia)
- Mofilm / FILMOBILE (London)
- Mini Movie Maker’s festival 2011 (New Zealand)
So, what’s happening in New Zealand?
A few collective events this year have touched upon the creative potential of mobile media:
- Te Papa, Mobile Phone Video Production (Ekaterinburg, Max with a Keitai, New Day Interactive, Hamster Squaredance, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson)
- Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen (11 weeks), Visual Media Technologies, Department of Performing and Screen Arts, Unitec
- DMW2011 (Colab – MoTec, Massey University – College Of Creative Arts)
- DMW2010 (Colab – Motec, Script-to-Screen, Nga Aho Whakaari)
Is your name missing from the list?
If you have been creating work for/with mobile media and would like to share your experience with us please get in touch.
With the collaboration of Anna Jackson.