Mobile Filmmaking

Authored by: Marsha Berry

The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138940918
eBook ISBN: 9781315673974
Adobe ISBN: 9781317377788


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Imagine a world without smartphones. It is as hard as imagining a world without cars, without electricity, and indeed without movies. Yet smartphones have been around for only a little over a decade. A Gallup poll in July 2015 reported that nearly half of smartphone users in the USA could not imagine life without it according to Lydia Saad (2015, n.p.). Over the past decade, mobile media has completely changed our emotional and social cartographies in ways that we now take for granted. Mobile media has also pushed filmmaking and photography into new terrains where old ways of working are being profoundly challenged. In his review of a decade of mobile phone filmmaking, Schleser argues that the accessibility to filmmaking technology has clearly increased through the ubiquity of mobile phones and smartphones and that this, in turn, is “shaping not only new modes of film production but also modes of consumption, distribution, and exhibition, by embedding these digital stories in network media” (Schleser 2014b, 155). Schleser concludes his review of mobile moving-image practice to claim that smartphones “provide prospects for the twenty-first century citizen to develop innovative and imaginative cultural competencies” (2014b, 167).

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