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September 17, 2008

Nseries camcorder: the digital reincarnation of 8mm cine film?

HOLLYWOOD, USA – Despite the emergence of ‘affordable’ consumer standalone high-def camcorders, many of us remain content with shooting home movies in standard definition and are even satisfied with capturing those motion-filled moments in lesser quality. And of course, much of this digital footage is shot using the camcorder capabilities built into heaps of today’s handsets. Why is is it we’re happy to document our lives this way?

Sure there’s the primary issue of cost and our perception of quality versus value (why spend more when the movies you’re making are extremely watchable when played on your telly – devices such as the N95 shoot at 30fps with a resolution of 640 x 480), but is it also that there’s a new school 8mm cine-esque charm to the footage? There’s definitely an argument for it, and it’s one that’s being acted upon in Hollywood. Writer and director Mike Hodgkinson has shot an entire music video for indie electronica band Eskimohunter filmed entirely using Nseries devices. Read on to find out how he went about it…

Hodgkinson created the music video to accompany the Eskimohunter track entitled ‘Surfing at 32ºF’. However it’s clear it wasn’t the technical prowess of the Nseries movie making hardware that excited him, but rather the ultra portability and the effects he could achieve using this untypical tool for making music videos.

“Each of the Nokia Nseries devices I used was perfectly suited to the kind of experimental, ‘out-there’ shots I wanted to capture for ‘Surfing at 32ºF’. For example, as a highly compact slider, the Nokia N95 slotted neatly into the customized pouch I attached to my fishing-line monorail, while the flip-out screens on the Nokia N93 and N93i allowed me to cover the lens with DIY color filters quickly and easily. Everything I imagined, the Nokia Nseries devices let me create. I really wanted to push the Nokia equipment to its limits, and each responded brilliantly. I’ve taken Nseries devices underwater, attached them to helium balloons and dangled them 100 feet above the Los Angeles River . . . and I’ve never lost a shot.”

What do you think to this approach? Do you think it will become even more prominent as the technology improves? Scribble down your thoughts below.

Photo from sheriffmitchell