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Formats: From hard news to Hollywood

With the basics of visual storytelling under your belt, you can work across multiple formats. Smartphones are now used to make all forms of video stories. Here are some of our favourite examples to inspire your creativity.

Mobile journalism has evolved considerably in the past two years. Not only are more journalists using smartphones as part of daily practice, a growing number of newsrooms are standardising mojo adoption – as NDTV has in India, in partnership with Samsung.

But what about smartphone film-making? The sector has come a long way since 2015, when Sean Baker made the film Tangerine with an iPhone 5s. In 2017 one of the iPhone 5s phones Baker used to make the film was added to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum.  Here’s the trailer:

The same year, mobile journalism pioneer Mike Castelluci made this film in the United States, called Phoning It In:

Two years later, award-winning Spanish TV journalist Leonor Suárez released Time to Revenge, a mojo-documentary short film in which Group Frente del Nalón re-enact a true story from the final days of the Spanish Civil War in Asturias:

In 2018, Stephen Soderbergh released Unsane, which was shot on an iPhone. Ahead of the film’s release, he told Indiewire he would continue to shoot movies on smartphones in future. Here’s the trailer:

So do you fancy trying your hand at making a mojo film or documentary? Mobile journalist Matthias Süßen has written a short guide to get you started.

If you want your film screened at a festival, there’s a growing list of events you can enter – from SmartFone FlickFest in Australia, to the International Mobile Film Festival in the US, to the Toronto Smartphone Film Festival in Canada, to the Dublin Smartphone Film Festival in Ireland.

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