Concept Phones Films

I got the following my inbox today

“congratulations on the film [Free Pixels]. i like the concept but it maybe feels a little corporate. maybe it’s the office setting, the even light & the music. the stop frame is excellent and very cute. i also imagine how difficult it must be do to the inserts and media stretching!”

He was right. Although the film was shot for less than 100 uk pounds in my front living room we wanted the movie to feel corporate. Why ? Because we felt this was where (if anywhere) Brit’s should and will, be inventing stretchy phone and nano robots that form pixels and any other crazy future technology we can imagine. William Stopha had originally set the film in a technical lab but we didn’t think that would convey possibility of this object transferring to a real market. Hence we set it in a corporate work station.

We did a lot of back research on recent concept phone film.

Artistically Jim Stevenson started our concept video research with the Nokia888 which has nothing to do with Nokia but won the DesignAwards2005. A day in a life was great way to do a concept film.

Former Digital Deli business partner Richard Ayres pointed me at  a design agency who had created the Mag Plus device concept film. He explained that the concept had gone viral and the chaps in the film were invited to San Francisco to discuss how iPad should work about 3 months before the iPad was released. For me the mix of real and concept worked well as film technique.

We looked at a couple of fully CGI films. The first a stretchy nano device who’s concept video was created jointly by Nokia and University of Cambridge. The other being Mozilla Labs (which came out half way through filming). We dismissed this as a film technique for us. By being fully animated the whole thing felt to futuristic and thus false. Like the adverts for Milton Keynes kids don’t run around with red balloons, sadly. We didn’t even think about how we could achieve those effects in Final Cut or iMovie.

The technology films that make me go ‘woah’ are the ones from MIT. For example Sixth Sense and the film where we the Free Pixel title Luminary Lamp.

In writing this I feel happy that the film Free Pixels struck the right balance between animation vs live action and corporate vs imaginary.

My Mobile Phone

I got my first phone in 1995. It was a massive Motorola brick. It was so heavy it wore out all the pockets in my jeans. My phone needed to be smaller or my jeans stronger.

As the century rolled over my mobile phone finally become tiny. Small. Beautiful. It broke, if dropped once. I connected it to my HP PDA and used it to download email and news content. Juggling both devices and my non existent iPod meant something would be dropped sooner or later. In a rush at Gatwick airport I smashed my lovely PDA and blamed the phone. When would I get a single device that could provide all the software a modern women needed ?

2009 and now all those devices are merged and in a single device. I drop my iPhone all the time. It bounces, scratches but stays intact. Just. It still isn’t good enough. It doesn’t scale. Isn’t fit for purpose. Apple tells me I need an iPad and iMac. I need a TV and Radio and Games Console. In fact I need phone. As my iPhone doesn’t really make great phone calls.

At each stage I knew what I wanted and it wasn’t available. When it finally arrived it wasn’t good enough, I was by then ready for the next device. My imagination far out paces what can be delivered in the market place. Yet I do nothing about it. I wait and hope that the corporate machine will catch up. It doesn’t.