Smartphone Cinematic Magic

- Shooting a short film on the OnePlus 5 -

Filmmaking has long been a storytelling medium reserved only for a select few. Big budgets for lighting and gear, sets and exotic locations have kept the craft out of reach for many. However, as with every other aspect of modern life, the constant evolution of technology has also infiltrated this field, providing opportunities for enthusiastic and ambitious film makers such as producer and director Giacomo Mantovani and director Cristina Isoli Sandri. Their latest film, Lightning, is a testament to how much smartphone technology has advanced in recent years.

Since the film was sponsored by OnePlus, it’s clear that OnePlus has faith in the quality of its cameras. Giacomo, who has been using OnePlus phones since the OnePlus One days, is a longtime friend of the company and an active ambassador for the craft of smartphone filmmaking. He is no stranger to the challenges involved in cinematic storytelling and maintains that shooting on mobile phones has major advantages. Cutting down on production costs, shooting the same scene from 3 different angles at the same time and filming in confined spaces, were just some of aspects that simplified the production of this film.

Shooting a fictional piece with smartphones has its complications, but also some very positive advantages” Giacomo stated.

Being able to shoot angles in a way that would have been impossible with bigger gear, he said, is one such advantage. When space is limited, having a smartphone setup enables you to get the exact angles you initially envisioned.

Set in London, Lightning follows a deaf girl with dreams of becoming a pilot. She unexpectedly meets an underground musician and the two strike up a stirring friendship.

Great acting, a fantastic soundtrack and beautiful frames aren’t the only aspects of this short film that will amaze audiences. Lightning (premiering in Rome on November 21, 2018) was shot entirely on the OnePlus 5 smartphone in 4K. This signifies a big shift within the industry as smartphones are slowly but surely starting to enter an arena previously reserved for top range professional cameras.

Giacomo and Cristina are both exceptionally talented filmmakers with great insight into the endless possibilities of movie making on smartphones. As one the most experienced mobile filmmakers, Giacomo was invited to Mojo Italia to do a seminar on movie making using smartphones. During the seminar he went into the intricacies and secrets of movie making on smartphones, using commercial production shots for OnePlus as examples. The response was overwhelming.

When asked what initially attracted him to filmmaking on smartphones, Giacomo said: “The moment I put my hands on the OnePlus One I was immediately blown away by the quality of the video.” Four years ago, when the first OnePlus device was launched, very few smartphones were capable of shooting 4K video. The fact that he could have 4K video with him at all times was very enticing, and with his new OnePlus One, Giacomo started his YouTube channel called EXIV.

“We live in a world where we are all storytellers thanks to the smartphone industry” he stated when talking about the future of filmmaking. As technology advances, possibilities become more diverse and creates opportunities for people who didn’t have them before. Now, big budgets don’t have to be part of the requirements for those trying to make their mark. In his view, most people now have a powerful smartphone in their pockets and don’t feel the need to buy an actual camera. This means that capturing those treasured moments is something everyone can do, and perhaps, with the help of trailblazers such as Giacomo Mantovani, more people will be inspired to explore the world of mobile filmmaking.

To learn more about Giacomo Mantovani, check out:

To follow him on Instagram: @gmfilmmaker



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