Irish video journalist Philip Bromwell is blazing new paths in the art of the smartphone news reports. In “The King of Coffee,” he profiles Seivijus “Elvis” Matiejunas, as he prepares to represent Ireland at the World Latte Art Championships in Australia (15-18 May 2014).
The news report, shot and edited by Bromwell, was made using an iPhone 5S and broadcast on RTÉ News, Ireland’s national broadcaster, on 14/5/2014. RTÉ is currently exploring and encouraging the use of smartphones to generate content across its news platforms.
Bromwell’s smartphone news report is worth watching more than once. That’s because demonstrates a number of classic moviemaking techniques available to amateurs as well as professionals. The defining feature is the use of rapid cutting. There are four shots in the first eight seconds. Overall, the average shot-length is four seconds.
Bromwell is also a master of the close-up. More than half the shots in this smartphone news report are close-ups, including the open shot.
Also worth studying are Bronwell’s use of natural sounds, reflections, and voice over.
Finally, notice how much the filmmaker packs into 1 minute and 37 seconds. As Shakespeare pointed out long ago: “brevity is the soul of wit.” The same subject, treated at twice the length, might have been less interesting. This is worth remember whether you’re reporting on a child’s mastery of the cartwheel or a service provided by your organization.
You can see more of Philip Bromwell’s video journalism here.
In late 2015, MobileMovieMaking will host a competition for this kind of ultra-short documentary. If you want to be updated regarding the contest, be sure to subscribe to MMM’s e-newsletter.