Would it be easier to make the movie short?

On July 24, 2010, people located in 190 countries and regions around the world raised their DVs and cameras to record their ordinary and special day's trivia.

▲ Poster of "A Day in a Floating Life". Picture from: IMDb

Afterwards, they gave these videos to the famous directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott, and then through the idea of ​​executive director Kevin Macdonald (Kevin Macdonald) and After the treatment, the documentary "Life in a day" was born.

These 4,500 hours of material have not undergone interpretation and artistic creation, but are selected and spliced ​​based on the timeline, and then paired with BGM.

▲A fragment of "A Day in a Floating Life".

I thought that such a monotonous processing method would be boring. After all, from a single clip, it can't be more ordinary, without any traces of the film industry, no special light and shadow, texture or composition.

▲A fragment of "A Day in a Floating Life".

But like the parallel sentence "A Day in the Floating Life", it burst out with magnificent and shocking power. The original ordinary and ordinary moments, when gathered together, become a variety of colorful, bright and colorful.

Ten years later, on July 25, 2020, people in 192 countries and regions around the world did the same thing again. However, this time more than 300,000 hours of material, more of it comes from smart phones.

▲ "A Floating Day 2020" poster. Picture from: IMDb

The 2020 version of "A Day in a Floating Life" was directly selected into the Sundance Film Festival before it was released.

Many people say that the technique of the second "A Day in a Floating Life" is a bit less delicate and full of vlog-style shots, lacking a sense of story. But this "movie" co-created by everyone is the content of the current popular media. The popularity of smartphones has allowed more people to participate in the process of creation.

▲ A fragment of "A Floating Life 2020".

Media scholar McLuhan pointed out that the most meaningful content of an era is not media information, but the tools used in a particular media era, and the new possibilities that such tools radiate. Ten years ago, "A Day in a Floating Life" is a good example of creative innovation brought about by the popularization of smartphones.

In fact, it is not only the familiar project of "A Floating Life". With the popularization of smartphones and the development of digital imaging technology, "mobile movies" are gradually moving towards the foreground, and the distance between movies and the public is getting closer.

Last year, the vivo and FIRST Youth Film Festival made corresponding explorations on "mobile movies" and launched an ultra-short film competition to encourage everyone to participate and express.

And this year, adhering to the practical concept of "everyone is a creator", vivo once again joined hands with FIRST Youth Film Festival to launch the second ultrashort film competition, exploring the experimental expression of images and the aesthetic boundary of audiovisual language in more depth.

Why is it only 5 minutes?

Director Jia Zhangke once said: "Short films are the original form of movies. Film history itself begins with short films, and 90-minute feature films are the product of commercialization of films."

Directors such as Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch, Roman Polanski and others all had very amazing short films before they became famous. .

▲ The short film "Doodlebug" made by Nolan in 1997.

In the 90-minute and 120-minute feature films that these directors later shot, there are also many techniques that they tried in the short films. For example, in "Inception", Nolan "borrowed" his own film "Doodlebug" in 1997, and the two have very similar nested narrative structures.

It can be said that short films have always been one of the reliable ways for creators to gradually approach the art of film. Not to mention that with the outbreak of short videos, most people's viewing methods are gradually changing.

In 2020, vivo and FIRST Youth Film Festival set up an ultra-short film unit based on such general considerations. For vivo, a mobile phone manufacturer, continued to pay attention to the ultra-short film competition, one is to follow the trend of the rise of mobile imaging culture, and the other is that the professional imaging competition will feed back the vivo imaging technology, which is also in line with the strategic layout of the long video track.

The volume of ultra-short films, especially the 5-minute duration limited by FIRST, has a lower threshold and low cost compared with 90-minute feature films, which is very suitable for film creators to practice and promote.

At the same time, the length of 5 minutes may also be a "scam." If you want to innovate, do experiments, or want to tell a good story, then every frame of these 300 seconds is very important, and the content of the short film needs to be very accurate. Pinch.

▲ Liu Kuan, the award-winning director of the "Super Short Film of the Year" in the vivo VISION+ Ultra Short Film Contest.

Director Liu Kuan, who won the 2021 "Super Short Film of the Year", stated that "5 minutes is a seemingly light volume, but it is actually very heavy because it requires you to be more precise and think more."

"5 minutes" This is the only limitation of the ultra-short film competition unit. There are no requirements for content, themes, content expression methods, shooting equipment, etc. These 5 minutes are closer to a "form", and the original intention is to encourage creators to explore creatively in the language of images.

The ultrashort film contest in 2021 has won the favor of different backgrounds and professional circles. The works show richer imagination and focus. Especially the use of smartphones brings more different perspectives. There are underwater "Water "Ghost", "Life Virtual" with vlog theme, etc.

At the same time, the contestants are not limited to presenting with realistic narratives, but new forms such as stop-motion animation, puppets, splicing, modeling, etc., such as "hot pot" and "hide and seek" have appeared.

Compared with the previous edition, the content of shortlisted short films is more flexible and creative, and the topics are more in line with the current issues of the times. From this point of view, the form of ultra-short films initiated by vivo and FIRST is more clear. They are constantly exploring the new creative language of images in the present.

What is special about this super short film?

Gao Yitian, the operation director of FIRST Youth Film Festival, shared a data, "This year's ultra-short film unit used mobile phones to shoot 52% of the movies, last year's data was 21%, a substantial increase."

▲ FIRST Youth Film Festival Operation Director-Gao Yitian.

More than half of the proportion of mobile phones involved in the shooting of ultra-short films, and the significant increase in data compared with the previous year, is due to the advancement of smartphone imaging technology, and the second is the size advantage of smartphones, which provides a lot of shooting angles and subject options. convenient.

In fact, whether it is film creation or humanistic photo collection, it is still necessary to narrow the distance with the photographed characters and reduce the presence of the equipment. In the subject of humanistic street photography, more professional photographers will choose "rangefinder" rather than traditional SLR, which also reduces the attention of the equipment.

▲ vivo X60 Pro+.

When filming "If You Can", Director Liu Kuan fully felt the convenience brought by the mobile phone as a recording tool. In the interview, she mentioned a kind of "power relationship." Traditional video equipment would amplify the "power" of the photographer, creating a kind of inequality.

▲ "If you can" fragment.

"But when I used the cell phone commonly used in his life to film the process of delivering the courier, it dispelled the power relationship between us." In collecting materials, the cell phone helped her a little.

In fact, it not only eliminates "power" and "pressure", mobile phones smaller than professional equipment also weaken the sense of existence. In "If You Can", there are pictures of express delivery stations and courier dormitories, which also take advantage of the relatively "concealed" characteristics of mobile phones. "If we use a camera, it will not be possible," Liu Kuan emphasized.

▲Long shots in "Hot Pot".

At the shooting site of "Hot Pot", Director Ying Zhaoyi put his mobile phone in the refrigerator and caught the scene of the "fridge playing pie". He even asked the actor to walk alone on the streets of Shanghai with a selfie stick on his back and captured a long shot.

"Water Ghost" directed by Wang Jiuliang, the whole underwater shooting, also takes advantage of the portable and easy-to-operate feature of the mobile phone.

On the other hand, vivo's products have also benefited a lot from it. The last edition was the first time that vivo cooperated with FIRST. It can also be said that it faced various creators for the first time. After communication, understanding and thinking, some requirements were finally realized on the X60 series.

▲ In the video mode of vivo X60 Pro+, standard HDR or HDR 10+ can be selected.

The most intuitive is the "professional mode" for video creation. In this mode, the vivo X60 series can focus quickly and simply. In addition, the vivo X60 series also provides two HDR functions, one is HDR 10+, and the other is an extension from SDR to HDR to improve the "full width and color expression of the video."

The needs of the previous edition and the technology landing on the X60 series also happened to be reflected in the video invitation of this edition of vivo. Like "Water Ghost", which is full of underwater scenes, under this kind of complex light effects underwater, it can restore the colors very well. "If you can," which needs to keep moving fast with the courier, and "Hotpot", which is tied to a selfie stick to get a unique long lens, are the manifestations of the excellent anti-shake effect of the X60 series.

▲Vivo’s Director of Imaging Products – Li Zhuo.

And after this ultrashort film contest, and the creator team and ultrashort film director exchanges, Vivo has also collected a lot of needs for different fields, such as color management, more professional rights management and so on.

For these needs, Li Zhuo, director of vivo imaging products, said that "some features may be seen in the next product."

In conjunction with the FIRST Youth Film Exhibition, vivo opened an ultra-short film competition unit, which provides an aggregation platform for the image expression of young creators, facing the public view, and exploring new forms of image expression together with it. At the same time, the continuous collision with the professional field has also fed back vivo's imaging capabilities.

Will mobile movies become mainstream in the future?

"As long as there is a tool to form an image, it can become the medium itself, instead of using professional equipment to shoot as we traditionally understand." Artist Cao Fei shared the images seen in this vivo VISION+ ultra-short film competition trend.

The popularity of smart phones and the rise of short videos have undoubtedly changed some people's viewing habits, and the language of image expression, or the concept of movies, is also constantly expanding.

"Now the new image expression is the continuation of the tradition." In the past, we chose to express through words and photos. Now, with the advancement of the Internet, we may use short videos to show our hearts.

▲ Picture from: unsplash

Extending to movies, this was a very small group in the past, and the professional equipment, equipment, and high cost were prohibitive. At the moment when "everyone is a creator", the recording of images can express and describe more accurately than words and photos. Naturally, mobile phone imaging has gradually become a trend.

The advantages of mobile phone portability and size can be expressed from different angles, which in turn enriches the possibilities of image language.

As Cao Fei said, "Many film festivals now have a lot of different units, including drone perspective, monitor perspective, and even cloud shooting." In the face of many innovations, film festivals everywhere are actually constantly absorbing and innovating, "the semantics of the film itself has been expanded."

In the vivo VISION+ ultra-short film unit, in addition to shooting with a mobile phone, shooting with a monitor also appeared, resulting in the creation of "Let's Fall in Love". These reflect the launch of the ultra-short film contest jointly launched by vivo in conjunction with the FIRST Youth Film Festival, so as to explore the original intention of the creation and expression of moving images.

In the development of image (equipment), only smartphones are devices that integrate collection, editing, processing, and sharing, and their status is quite special. Such free equipment attributes open up the creativity of creators and are no longer swayed by the limitations of equipment. At the same time, the enhancement of the product's image power allows mobile movies to combine professionalism and convenience.

▲ Picture from: unsplash

Mobile movie is actually an experiment on new media tools. Whether it will become a future trend, no one has the answer now. Vivo and FIRST Youth Film Festival explore together in the form of ultra-short films, not to make mobile movies into the mainstream, but to meet the public's attitude and desire for expression in the new era.

The concept of "movie" has always been defined, but under different eras and different equipment, it has a fairly flexible way of presentation. And now mobile phone creation and mobile movie are exploring the boundaries of movies in the new era, and at the same time, they are constantly experimenting.

A 5-minute ultra-short film is more flexible and does not need to invest too much resources like a long film. It coincides with the explosion of smartphone mobile imaging technology, which allows creators to freely imagine within 300 seconds, express themselves with new forms, new perspectives, and new lens language.

Just like "A Day in a Floating Life", only a 5-minute clip may not have too much "ripples", but when thousands of 5-minute short films and clips are gathered together, it may express the present The development of mobile images in China has brought a new definition of "movie".

In the process of this exploration, vivo shows more possibilities for moving images, and at the same time, it will continue to absorb demand from the creative process, transform it into the professional image power of its own products, and continue to accumulate energy on the long image track. It is in line with vivo's long-term strategic layout.

For vivo mobile phone users, or all mobile phone users, the ultra-short films that the vivo and FIRST Youth Film Festival continue to promote to the public are even more of an incentive. Encourage users to use the current image language to present their unique inner life.

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