The Nokia Lumia 920 was Nokia’s first phone to feature OIS (optical image stabilisation) and it’s this technology, mixed in with amazing optics, which can create cinema-like movies right from your Nokia Lumia.
To get an idea of the sort of quality that’s possible from your Nokia Lumia 920, we recommend you watch the following video. But don’t just press play here. Click-through to the YouTube channel and crank the video quality up to 1080p.
The maker of that video is Christopher Westerholm, who loves getting his hands on Nokia smartphones and getting creative with them.
But to find out why and how he created this video, we caught up with Christopher to learn more.
“I wanted to show that you don’t need an expensive camera to make something that looks cinematic.”
“The technology that exists on the smartphone in our pockets means we don’t necessarily need conventional video cameras. Nokia has always innovated when its comes to camera sensors.”
As with any real filming – drunken nightclub dancing with your mates doesn’t apply – you need to take the time to plan out the storyline. Even if there’s no dialogue or acting involved, you still need to know what you’re going to film and for how long. Otherwise, you’ll have hours of film to sort through, and that takes up valuable time.
Christopher arrived on a location in Sweden in an afternoon and filmed until the sun went down. Once he’d captured everything he wanted, he headed home and spent several hours putting it all together into the final piece we see today.
While all the crisp, clear, and smooth video was shot on the Nokia Lumia 920, there was some editing that took place after filming to add sounds and to slow down some of the motion for effect.
“I needed to perform some colour correcting and add the music and sounds. Premiere Elements is a great piece of software for editing and inserting music.”
“The Nokia Lumia 920 films everything at 30 fps. I then converted the footage to 24 fps to create a more cinematic look and feel. It’s this reducing of frame rate that creates a small slow-motion effect”
With the OIS, the Nokia Lumia 920 can record at an almost professional level of smoothness. So much so, that you’d almost forget you’re watching a film shot purely on a smartphone.
Christopher did use some extra equipment, though, for extra stability. He’s quite the perfectionist and a stickler for detail, it seems.
“I used a tripod with a slider, and the Lumia 920 was mounted with Nokia’s tripod accessory – the HH-23.”
But that’s not all. Christopher works as a cinematographer and an editor, so he’s got a bit of kit at his disposal.
“I put the Lumia 920 into a DSLR cage so I could use a matte box to use filters in front of the 920’s lens. I added a ND (neural density) filter to block out the hard sunlight and a polariser to make the sky blue and the sea more transparent. The same as I would if I shot this with any other camera.”
“For the sliding, sweeping shots, I used a Kessler Pocket Dolly Traveler. It’s not a cheap piece of kit, but it’s designed for much heavier equipment. There are more affordable alternatives, such as the Glidetrack SD. I think there’s even a Glidetrack specifically designed for phones.”
Most of us won’t have this kind of equipment lying around the house, and it would cost more than any occasional video-er would want to invest in.
However, Christopher explains some simple techniques to creating the perfect video on the Nokia Lumia 920, or any other Nokia Lumia smartphone, for that matter.
“Remember, the camera is only a filmmaker’s tool. Sure, the lens stabilisation (OIS) on the Nokia Lumia 920 performs exceptionally well and makes it easier, but it’s all about the content.
1. Get to a beautiful location when the light looks best. Sometimes getting up early in the morning when the sun is low can beautifully transform or make up a story. Take ideas from movies you have seen.
2. Try to see a scene or environment from a different perspective. For example, a flower shot is dull and boring if you shoot it from a standing position. But, if you get on your knees and shoot it from under the flower up to the sky it will look huge and much more interesting.
3. Always think about the composition, how shapes in the city skyline meet each other or how the sun is looking through the trees in the park.”
Have you been inspired to get out there and create an amazing video? If you do, share it with us using the comments section below.