Lukas Ellerbrock is the co-founder of flapp, a German production company located in Hamburg. While on assignment with a different company doing documentary for the Milano Fashion Week, Lukas used a few hours of free time to test the 120 frames-per-second option on his brand new iPhone 5S. “Streets of Milano” is the result. Surprising even the filmmaker, the short movie became an overnight hit. In an exclusive interview, Lukas shares his views on mobile moviemaking.
MMM: Is there anything special about shooting with a mobile device?
Lukas: It’s a great way to get hold of moments you couldn’t catch otherwise, I personally would not consider using the phone for professional purposes unless someone made an job offer I could not decline. I rather think of it as a “camcorder” just like the one my father used to have in 1993, just a little more practical in therms of always carrying it with you.
MMM: Did you use any special equipment?
Lukas: In this instance I only shot handheld and used no other equipment. I edited with Premiere CC Cloud. It took me four hours.
MMM: What was your purpose in using slow motion?
Lukas: Slow motion for me is a tool that brings calmness into a world which is moving faster and faster. Everyone is talking about fast development, fast communication, but I think there is something missing that can only be found in the slowness. And what I find the most fascinating is that you can create this effect only by technical means, no human will ever be able to move slower through time, interesting don’t you think?
Lukas: I started filming when I was eleven, of course there were many movies which inspired me since then, but my biggest inspiration is the world and how it is unraveling in front of me.
MMM: What advice do you have for other moviemakers?
Lukas: Go out and do as much as you can, then find what you like the most and just start doing it! The motto I live by is: “Shoot like a maniac; always keep the process going.”
MMM: Where has “Streets of Milano” been shown?
Lukas: Who could have thought that the film would make such an impact? Without being pushed on any social networks or other platforms, the video already had more than 1000 hits the morning after I posted it on Vimeo.com. And that was just the beginning. Even “NoFilmschool” used “Streets of Milano” as an example for the technical progress of mobile cameras. Recently the movie got into the top three on Firestarters a platform hosted by Vodafone Netherlands.
MMM: How did you develop your moviemaking skills?
Lukas: When I got my first SD camcorder, from there I was shooting almost every day. Most of my first projects were done by myself. In my early twenties I started making it serious and started doing festival aftermovies and corporate movies. Only later, when I got to know my two good friends we founded flapp together, our own production company. At the same time I was still employed for a big production company in Hamburg where for the first time I had the chance to work with great mentors on professional productions. This gave me not only insights on whats’ possible but also a perspective on what I wanted to accomplish.