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Mobile Movie of the Week

Use an Active Camera to Astonish Viewers

Use an active camera to create visual excitement in any kind of mobile-shot movie.

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Memorable Movies Need Memorable Characters

Memorable movies are about people  worth knowing.  In fact, narrative films are often named for their key characters. So we have “The Godfather,” “E.T.,” “Thelma & Louise,” and “Goldfinger.” But characters are also crucial in nonfiction films, as mojo journalist Mike Castellucci demonstrates in  “Carrie’s Cakes.” In this short video report, produced for a Texas TV station, Castellucci visited…

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Time Bending in Movies

Einstein proved that time is relative. But it’s moviemakers like Conor McDonnell who allow us to see the malleability of the fourth dimension. In “100 Second Week” McDonnnell reduces a journey spanning 168 hours to 100 seconds. Time bending in movies can be done in several ways. You can vary the frame rate to create…

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Four ways to use titles in a mini-doc

A memorable mini-doc must have strong images. But as we learn in Robb Montgomery’s “El Tatio Geyers,” concise, carefully written text can add clarity and drama. Montgomery, a celebrated mobile journalist and film teacher, illustrates four ways  to use titles in this short travelogue: He titles the video: “El Tatio Geyers” (0:04) He identifies the location: “In the…

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Using Two Kinds of Dialogue in a Mini-doc

“The Sapeh Keeper” beautifully  illustrates the two kinds of dialogue found in most well-made mini-docs.  The filmmaker Mariah Ahmad gives us scenes where her subject Mathew Ngau Jau is shown talking about the Sapeh, a lute played by traditional Malaysian musicians. These “talking-head” clips are then intercut with  scenes in which Jau’s comments are played as…

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Mind Calming with Slow Motion

A few seconds into “London Graffiti Artists,” a title card reads: “The world is racing past us…sometimes we need to slow down.” To help us accomplish that difficult feat, the director Cassius Rayner has shot his mini-doc entirely in slow motion. “London Graffiti was shot using an iPhone 6s and a Smooth C 3 axis gimbal. The…

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