Top Hollywood producers and directors are turning their attention from the big screen and embracing the world of mobile video production and distribution.
And their interest spells out an important message to anyone in the world of PR or marketing.
At the production end of things Steven Soderbergh has now produced two full length feature films shot entirely on an iPhone. Last year it was ‘Unsane’ which streamed on Netflix and this year it was ‘High Flying Bird’. Of course he used a whole production team for lighting, sound, and production design. But every shot of the film was taken on an iPhone 7 using my number one recommended shooting app Filmic Pro.
If you watch the trailer you’d be hard pressed to spot the difference between this and a standard movie shot on expensive cameras. It has a grittier more ‘indie’ feel than your average Hollywood blockbuster, but that comes across as a deliberate stylistic choice rather than anything else.
Soderbergh speaks about using the iPhone being a creative decision rather than a gimmick. He felt it served the movie for him to be able to ‘put a lense anywhere [he] needed in a matter of seconds.’ It was the flexibility and speed that the iPhone gave him that he loved.
A communications team creating videos for social media is a long way from a Hollywood blockbuster, but the benefits are the same. Our smartphones are with us all the time and the technology they contain in their pocket-sized bodies is amazing. Businesses should be making the most of this incredible communications resource they have at their fingertips.
At the distribution end of things Stephen Speilberg, Guilermo Del Toro and Sam Raimi are working on TV projects for Quibi, a new mobile-only streaming service.
The brainchild of Jeffrey Katzenberg, the site will stream 7-10 minute shows made by top creators. Speilberg is already working on an anthology horror series (working title Spielberg After Dark). What’s more, using geotag technology the app will only allow the series to play after dark to increase the spookiness. The show will then be locked when the sun comes up again.
The target audience for Quibi (short for quick bites) is millennials who now spend up to 70 minutes a day watching video content on their mobiles on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and the like. Katzenberg recognises this as an established consumer habit and wants Quibi to ‘sail into’ that space.
We all know about the growing popularity of consuming social media content in bitesize videos. Mobile phones and improved connectivity have made it so easy. And the introduction of 5G is only going to see that increase.
The fact that a major Hollywood player like Katzeneburg has recognised this huge shift in viewing habits and wants to fill the gap in the market emphasises how important it is for businesses to get on board with video and occupy that space.
If Soderbergh can create Hollywood style drama on an iPhone 7 and Speilberg is spending time creating content which will only be viewed on mobiles – it’s definitely a sign that it’s where you should be.