On December 28, 1895, Frenchman Louis Lumiere publicly screened the movie "Factory Gate" with a projector. The audience was amazed by the lifelike characters and scenery in the frame. The film revealed its mysterious to the public. Veil, this day is also considered the birthday of the movie.
▲ Several versions screened at the factory gate.
With the advancement of technology and the continuous efforts of filmmakers, the film industry has formed a complete entertainment industry for more than 100 years. The small rectangular picture frame carries one dream after another, which makes people intoxicated.
The development of technology has changed its form and way of expression. With the popularization of smart phones and major video platforms, video expression has become more and more common today, which has also given birth to mobile movies.
What's the difference between using a mobile phone to make a movie?
The most recent appearance of a mobile phone movie was at the 33rd China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Award Mobile Film Sub-forum jointly organized by China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Awards, but this is actually the second time that a mobile phone film has entered the Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Awards.
Last year, the Golden Rooster Award and Huawei jointly organized a new video and mobile phone film competition unit activity to solicit mobile phone film works from the public. This year is the real fruit of the competition unit. Eight films including "No Sound Here", "Sixty Nine" and "The Shaver" won the competition awards.
These eight films were basically shot by mobile phones, and showed relatively good quality in terms of pictures, plots and even creativity. At the event, Huawei and the Golden Rooster Award Organizing Committee jointly launched the "New Image•Mobile Movie Project". Solicit mobile phone video works from the global public.
Friends who are interested in these eight films or want to participate can watch or learn about the information on the official website of the Golden Rooster Film Festival.
However, the most curious thing is how these films were shot, how they differed from the traditional film industry team division and cooperation system, and what changes they showed.
Wang Shiqing, the photographer of the award-winning film "Sixty Nine" and also the photographer of the well-known documentary film "Thousands of Hardened", answered this question in person. "Sixty Nine" is a feature film focusing on the living conditions of the "empty nest old man" and the emotional connection with his son.
This short film has a scene where the protagonist drives a car. According to the photographer Wang Shiqing, he only used a Huawei P40 Pro and a mobile phone stabilizer to shoot in the car.
▲ Fragment of " Sixty Nine "
Interestingly, Zhang Chi, the director of "Sixty Nine", did not have a large monitor to monitor the shooting pictures, but instead used the multi-screen collaboration function of Huawei's tablet as the implementation monitor, and the Sony camera cooperated with the imaging of mobile phones and tablets to transmit images. The Edge Mobile application has the same effect.
In the traditional film industry system, shooting this kind of footage often needs to install various shooting equipment on the car, and even arrange an extra car to follow the car to shoot, and the corresponding crew must be increased. After shooting with mobile phones, not only the crew is reduced, but the equipment used is also reduced.
In the film "The Shaver", which records the life of a master who has been engaged in the business of shaving his head for 45 years, the advantages of the portability and miniaturization of the mobile phone are reflected in reducing the intrusion of the protagonist.
▲ Click to watch the original film
It is not like large-scale photography equipment or the traditional film industry, where an actor needs the support of a crew when performing. As director Xu Zheng said: more than 100 people watch you acting.
For non-professional actors, the pressure is not small.
Here, the mobile phone is actually used as a small shooting device in the entire shooting process, and small and medium shooting devices in the traditional film industry are also an important part.
As a photographer with more than 20 years of photography experience, Wang Shiqing said that small video cameras are often used when shooting documentaries at close range.
This is also inseparable from the photographer’s working environment. The shoulder or manipulation of a large camera requires a lot of physical strength for the photographer. Once it takes a long time to shoot, the photographer may not be able to carry it. In this case, small equipment can be used. Take advantage of it.
In an interview, the director and actor Xu Zheng also said that he would often use his mobile phone to take a shot demo to give the photographer a reference to the movement of the shot.
In the experimental mobile phone movie " Guarding the Earth ", the shape of the mobile phone affects the content of the film. First, the vertical screen, and then the film basically uses the front camera to capture the content.
Unlike the traditional film industry where the camera imitates the human perspective to promote the audience's immersion into the story, "Guardian Earth" uses the front-facing camera of the mobile phone to let the audience have a deeper understanding of the epidemic and the film, and then immerse themselves in the story. among.
Of course, there is still a certain gap between these award-winning films and traditional cinema movies and even the film and television works on video platforms, but they have fully demonstrated the characteristics and practical application significance of mobile movies.
The future of mobile movies
In the behind-the-scenes story disclosed by Wang Shiheng, the shooting of "Sixty Nine" only used a Huawei P40 Pro, a stabilizer, a black filter, and the use of DJI drones to bind mobile phone aerial recordings.
Compared with the previous mobile movie, it requires a large number of team members to support, and uses a lot of external equipment such as external lenses, slide rails, and professional lighting support, which is much less.
The external equipment and the support of a large number of professionals have also been questioned in the previous mobile phone movies, such as the popular mobile phone film "Three Minutes" in 2018, and the film "Rolling Waves" filmed by the famous Korean director Park Chan-wook in 2011 won the Golden Bear Award. The cases are all gimmicks.
Most of them have external professional shooting lenses, a large number of slide rails, and professional post-production on their mobile phones. When they are released, there are not many traces of mobile phone shooting. Mobile phone shooting has become a thorough gimmick.
Even today, when the image performance of mobile phones is greatly increasing, short films shot with mobile phones still make people wonder whether the quality of the mobile phone itself is more weighted or the result of a large amount of external support.
In fact, we have entered a misunderstanding of thinking here. Mobile movies and traditional cinema movies have become mutually exclusive. Is the growth of mobile phone image performance the only way to approach professional film industry equipment?
Director Xu Zheng mentioned another idea for solving the problem. He thinks:
Mobile phones should not be constantly upgraded and eventually become movie equipment. The mobile movie should be the ultimate in its own space, including the characteristics of the Internet that the mobile phone can connect to.
This is actually a blind spot in the discussion of mobile movies. Why should mobile movies be consistent with traditional movies? Under objective conditions, can mobile movies become a content type between daily recorded short videos and traditional feature films? Form its unique industrial chain.
This is also the place where the most discussions in the entire Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Awards mobile movie sub-forum, including director Xu Zheng, famous cinematographer Du Jie, Huawei Consumer BG vice president Li Changzhu and other industry celebrities all expressed relevant views.
Speaking of this, some people may think of a new type of content that has emerged in recent years-short video drama series. They are typical content products for mobile phone consumption. Most of the time is within 5-10 minutes. The main screen format is very active on mainstream video platforms such as Douyin Kuaishou, and even iQiyi, and has already formed a certain amount of communication and commercial influence.
▲ Kuaishou "Small Theater" content aggregation page
In April last year, Kuaishou added a new feature in the App-Small Theater, which serves as a comprehensive content page to display the content of short video episodes on the site. It is not uncommon for episodes with more than 100 million views to be played, while the more well-known ones before It's the vertical screen drama "Life Starts Me" launched by iQiyi.
Its revenue is similar to traditional film and television and video platforms, and there are also MCN agencies that make money through advertising implants. Kuaishou also has corresponding paid film and television content, most of which are directly sold by short film episodes shot by the station.
▲ Kuaishou paid film and television content
If you compare "Sixty Nine" with mainstream short video episodes, you will find that the quality of "Sixty Nine" is better. Mobile phones can complete relatively good content episodes, and the vertical screen is more in line with the short video platform. Consumption.
Combining with video platform content consumption is indeed a new direction for mobile movies.
In foreign countries, mobile phone movies are also a supplement to the entire movie market. Most of them are independent movies. Due to the cost, they try to use mobile phones to complete part of the shooting.
In 2014, director Ricky Fosheim used his mobile phone to complete the thriller film "Uneasy Heart" at a cost of only 100,000 US dollars. In 2015, American independent film director and director Sean Baker took it a step further and used his mobile phone to shoot and post-edit the film. "Orange" was released in the United States on July 10 of the same year.
From the release of the iPhone in 2007 to the present, smart phones have only gone through more than 10 years of history. Compared with the century-old film industry, mobile phone movies are more of a babble, and they are still immature.
However, looking at the history of the film industry over a century, technological development has also affected the expression of film content and even the changes in content. The improvement of camera technology has led to the improvement of picture quality, even if the 120 frame rate film promoted by the previous director Ang Lee was not recognized. It is also because new technological changes require new performance methods and even content presentation methods.
Mobile movie is also a product of new technology. On its left is the traditional film industry, and on its right is its own characteristics and integration with the Internet.
As for where it will eventually go, I am afraid we can only wait for time to give us the answer.
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