Filmmaking Cameras and the Smartphone with James Smith

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Dec 22 2020 81 mins  

James Smith was “never a fan of mobile filmmaking,” he says. When he and his partner, Caroline Spence, lost their camera person and the actual camera on their film set, Caroline suggested using a smartphone.

In episode 91 of the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking we bring our listeners to the U.K. and talk to experienced filmmaker, James Smith. We discuss all things filmmaking and compare the differences between production with a traditional camera and smartphone cameras.

James shares many great tips, and advice, about making films using a hybrid technique of traditional filmmaking with the smartphone camera. He also explains, in great detail, the benefits of treating your mobile film production as professional as possible, while at the same time, using the smartphone camera to your advantage.

James Smith and Caroline Spence, whom we spoke with in episode 90, have produced two feature-length films with their smartphone: Cyberlante and Surveilled.

We discuss acquiring a crew, which happens gradually over time. We chat a bit about the unique industry that filmmaking is, which is not a traditional 9 to 5 job. Adaptability and passion is ultimately necessary to survive in the filmmaking environment.

Even though you are making a film with a smartphone, that still does not mean you don’t need funds to complete your project. We discuss a bit about the traditional funding process. James compares the benefits of funding in what I called “community funding” through crowdfunding. He also discussed a bit about what crowdfunding is like, and how it differs to traditional funding for filmmakers.

In this episode of our podcast James shares direct comparisons to mobile filmmaking versus traditional filmmaking during production, on a film set. The different attachments for the smartphone camera in comparison to traditional cameras, such as lenses, can be a challenge for traditional filmmakers used to larger gear. There are also quirks that can happen with apps, and phone settings, as simple turning off notifications so you don’t get a call while recording. There are many details to remember during your film production to prep your camera to adapt it from using it as your phone one minute and a filming camera the next.

SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.

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