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Renowned British graffiti artist and some time film director Banksy, once said, “Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.” With the number of smartphones worldwide now topping one billion, this sentiment is truer than ever. But how do you make use of incredibly sophisticated smartphone cameras, like the one found on the Nokia Lumia 920, to make a great short movie?

To find out, we asked Jas van Genderen, the winner of the Nokia Music Short Film Competition, and a master of the smartphone movie-making genre. His stunning short film Red Earth Hip Hop was made entirely on a Nokia Lumia 920. Here’s the five most useful things he learnt, about filming on the world’s most innovative smartphone, during the shoot.

Jas_Sundance (2) WEB

 1. Plan your shoot

“Plan to shoot your video in even, consistent light wherever possible. This ensures the Nokia Lumia 920’s auto aperture doesn’t get tricked into shifting the camera’s focus or white balance as it adjusts on the fly for changing light conditions.”

 2. Play with white balance

“Experiment with the differing white balance settings and be surprised how different your video images can look with different colour temperatures. Challenge yourself, venture outside the ‘auto’ white balance setting and enjoy a new creative world of imagery that makes your Nokia Lumia 920 videos shine with beautiful, balanced colour.”

 3. Master the focus

“Mastering the focus setting may take a little patience but once you do, you’ll be amazed how sharp and clear the Carl Zeiss lens can be. Having seen the image enlarged onto a huge cinema screen in the O2 in London, everyone was convinced it was filmed on much more expensive equipment, rather than a smartphone. Keeping your shot in consistent light will also help the focus remain consistent throughout.”


 4. Make the most of Optical Image Stabilisation

“The Nokia Lumia 920 features the most amazing stabilisation system I’ve EVER used, on ANY camera. It’s intuitive, reliable and allows you to create surprisingly smooth shots just by using your strong, straight arms to lever the Nokia Lumia 920 in and out of a shot. Some of the shots in Red Earth Hip Hop look like they were filmed on a moving tripod jib, but they were actually hand-held!”

5. Experiment with new angles

“Using the Nokia Lumia 920 means you can often squeeze into way more interesting positions to view the world. Larger, bulkier cameras often limit where you can position them in a shot, whereas the Nokia Lumia 920, in comparison is so light, thin and easy to position… it can squeeze into the tiniest corner and capture the world from a view we simply can’t see with the naked eye.”

Five fantastic tips from a filmmaker who has been there and done that. If you’ve got any others you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Image credit: Andyax