Learning through frustration – ELVSS12

We bring you… Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen

I love this project. I feel very lucky to be part of a committed team, working on something that is not funded – a genuine Community of Practice where our passion for mobile filmmaking has brought us together in an international collaboration which spans disciplines, levels… and timezones.

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From Mashups to Pocket Cinema…

As a fan of short-form user-generated content, I have a real fascination with pocket cinema a.k.a. mobile phone films a.k.a. productions for the Very Small Screen. The first camphone appeared in Japan in 2000, and within a few years mobile phone films festival started to appear, such as Pocketfilm in France and Japan, alongside dedicated streams at festivals like Sundance (US) and Raindance (UK). YouTube launched in 2005, in 2009 the iPhone 3GS launched and this saw YouTube uploads increase 400% in one week (1700% in 6 months).

There’s a certain aesthetic to many mobile phone films which can often be shaky and pixelated (termed the ‘Ketai Aesthetic’ by Max Schlesser) and yet some of the most powerful images of recent world events have been captured using these personal, consumer devices. The mobile phone camera is intimate, discreet, and allows us to ‘shoot from the hip’, recording events as they happen in real-time. Continue reading

Mobile Films: Learning through discontinuity

Once again, our students did fantastically well this year through generating their own content – this time, making short films shot entirely on mobile phones 🙂

Audio and Video Technology students worked in groups to produce short practice-based films using the devices in their pockets, developing imaginative and innovative filming techniques through exploring the creative affordances and constraints of the technology. Groups were responsible for managing their own projects through wikis, which were also used to document the overall research and production processes and present the final project report, alongside online ‘making of’ photo-diaries which linked to the wikis, offering  a rich insight into their creative and technical processes. The films were presented in a mini ‘film festival’; full assignments submitted as QR codes which linked to their work online. Through using multiple media across a range of online platforms the students immersed themselves in the technologies as mobile and networked learners and content producers. Continue reading

Foursquare and Gowalla: some thoughts

Like many others, I’ve been swept up in the geo-app craze lately, specifically Foursquare and Gowalla. This semester I’ve set a couple of MSc projects where my students are using geo-apps but I’m also keen to explore their wider educational potential and have lots of ideas for the coming semester so it’s something I’m pretty excited about. Obviously I need to have a good handle on the apps if I’m going to start using them productively in the ‘classroom’ so I’ve taken advantage of the fact that I’m in a beautiful city (Stockholm) and away from the day-to-day to immerse myself in Foursquare – and to a lesser extent, Gowalla. Continue reading