Nowadays, anybody can make a movie, become a cultural artist, and turn his or her imagination into reality.
This indispensable communication device has ushered in the era of smartphone directors.
In Korea, the global IT powerhouse, smartphones mean so much more than just a tool for communication. They play a central role in reinventing culture, as attested by today's smartphone movies.
[Interview : Kim Yeon-hui, Audience member] "One can do so many things with a smartphone these days. When I get a chance I want to have some fun making a movie with my friends".
[Interview : Jang Ji-wu, Audience member] "I thought that the most one could do with a smartphone was taking pictures. Making a movie with it is a fun and interesting notion".
[Interview : Lee Ji-min, Audience member] "It's simply amazing. I can't wait to watch the movie. I'm going to enjoy it".
Expectations for this movie run high, in part because it will be screened at the Cannes International Film Festival in March.
A movie production announcement conference was held a few days ago, receiving much media attention.
The spotlight was due to the fact that all the work involved in making the movie, such as writing the script, filming, composing the OST, recording, and editing was done by using a smartphone.
[Interview : Ha Jeong-woo, Actor] "I've never imagined the day would come when movies could be made using a smartphone. It was a difficult process, but I enjoyed myself".
[Interview : Lee Seung-chul, Singer] "It was a fun experience. It felt strange that my music would be used for scenes filmed by some of Korea's best directors. I worked
Smartphone movies first caught the public's attention thanks to Park Chan-wook, the celebrated director of the movie "Old Boy". In 2011, he became the first director in the world to win an award at an international film festival with a movie that was created using a smartphone.
Smartphone movies allow ordinary people to show off their talents as artists while having fun.
[Interview : ] "Action!"
Arirang Today met an artist who uses her smartphone to create her work. She is an independent singer-songwriter.
[Interview : ] "Hi, I'm MenNeMaggiy".
Her specialty is creating music videos with her phone. Musicians without agencies can only dream about making costly music videos. She is quite famous among fellow singers and artists for creating her own music videos using her smartphone.
[Interview : PD] "How much does it cost when you make a music video"
[Interview : MenNeMaggiy, Independent artist] "Don't be surprised, but it costs $0! Not a single penny".
[Interview : MenNeMaggiy, Independent artist] "I've been thinking of ways to best express what I had in mind. After giving it some thought, I decided to do it myself. There are certain images that can be created only with a smartphone. This is especially the case when I'm filming in a small location or need to shoot from many different angles. The best thing, of course, is that it costs nothing. That is the biggest merit".
Today she's shooting a concert scene for her new music video. The director of photography is one of her friends. He's using an iPhone, which boasts a 5 megapixel camera capable of recording videos less than 10 minutes long at as many as 30 frames per second.
[Interview : PD] "Isn't it difficult"
[Interview : ] "No, it's very simple and easy. Anybody could do it".
He suddenly takes out one of his treasured equipments that allows him to film just as well as a professional director.
[Interview : Park Seong-jin-II, Smartphone director of photography] "This device is called Steadycam. It's used to shoot videos steadily without being affected by the movements of the director. Now that making films with smartphones has become popular, this kind of device has also been created for smartphones".
With more people creating their own movies using smartphones, a niche market has been formed filled with various devices and applications related to filming, editing, and soundtracks.
And more consumers are looking for smartphones with cameras that can record HD videos rather than opting for expensive camcorders or professional cameras that are often difficult to carry around.
Let's go back to MenNeMaggiy [메네마기]. At the moment she is busy editing her music video.
[Interview : MenNeMaggiy, Independent artist] "After filming a video with my smartphone, I edit it and insert a BGM using a computer program. I do everything myself, including
music composition. By creating a music video with my own hands, I can deliver the message I want to get across very clearly. And most
importantly, all the work that goes into the process is so fun".
Movies and music videos created with smartphones do not require a huge investment, pricey equipment, or renting theaters. Once uploaded on the internet, they can be shared with the public online. Smartphones can turn into a camera as well as a means of distribution.
[Interview : MenNeMaggiy, Independent artist] "Because I did all the work, it feels very rewarding when a music video is completed. I will continue to use my smartphone for this kind of fun work".
Korea is currently home to over 20 million smartphone users. And now, the era of smartphone movies has arrived. How about becoming a smartphone director yourself
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2015 51st PaekSang Arts Awards