Make a Pocket Movie
1st August to 9th November 2008

With digital technology and camera phones putting the realms of movie making within everyone's grasp, the pocket movie has come of age. These are short films, often less than a minute in length shot on mobile devices. The results are easy to share, easy to cause a storm and could even end up on the news.

Pocket movies are intimate and engaging, and because the technology can go anywhere you get licence to roam free and take risks. The picture quality is often very rough and ready, but work within your equipment’s capacity and if you’ve got a good idea, you’ll hook your audience and pack a punch.

Kicking off during the Edinburgh Arts Festival, Stills gallery has undergone a radical transformation. An open reference library with an eclectic array of over 7,700 books from the personal collection of the prolific artist, writer and political agitator, Martha Rosler will fill the space. Stills will be choosing a selection of titles from her book collection to act as inspiration for your pocket movies. It could be a volume on photography, political science or perhaps a comic book. The library is a repository of knowledge and ideas, it settles, breathes and lives again as new readers arrive, new discussions begin and in our case movie moments are made. Drop by the library and see what they have chosen for you.

Stills, 23 Cockburn St, Edinburgh

How to make your movie...

1. Get an idea and get filming

The ability to film on your feet means that the traditional process of movie-making has been turned on its head. The pocket movie making motto is "shoot first, ask questions later". You don't need to create the classic movie storyboard or even organise any aspect of the filming beforehand. Just look for a little inspiration, nail the idea in your head and get out fliming. Get plenty of footage. You can get to grips with what you’ve got in the edit. That's how a pocket movie is constructed. Now upload the raw footage.

2. Editing

You can edit your pocket movie on your computer using Windows Movie Maker, iMovie and Open Movie Editor, or you may have software on your mobile phone.

To keep the movie under a minute in length, look at your average shot length for each take, edit them so they are around five seconds in length unless of course it’s a single take movie. Mix and match your takes, get a rough cut together.

Keep your transitions simple, often the small size of screen renders them redundant. Titles and credits add polish, but what really makes a pocket movie sparkle is good sound. Make the most of the pre-loaded sound effects in your editing software, and don’t be afraid to add some music.

3. Distribution

The distribution of the final movie is completely in the hands of it’s creator. Use Bluetooth to send it between your friend’s mobiles, attach it to a MMS message, burn a DVD hard copy, fire off a good ol’ email, upload it onto the plethora of free online video sharing platforms such as YouTube or embed them in social networking applications such as FunWall on Facebook. Just check the file types required, and optimise the quality of your movie for your chosen platform in your editing software when you come to export.

4. Let us know how you got on

Martha Rosler Library
Pocket Movie Making.pdf37.68 KB

Attached Images

Martha Rosler Library