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October 17, 2013

The world’s best freerunners filmed on a Nokia Lumia 1020

At the start of this month we showcased what we thought was possibly the coolest Nokia Lumia 1020 video ever filmed.

The work of one of the world’s top extreme sports film makers Claudiu Voicu, it showcased the Red Bull Art of Motion freerunning event in Santorini, Greece. Well, if you’re eager to find out more about the event, the world of freerunning and the video qualities of the Nokia Lumia 1020, you’re in for a treat. Claudiu is back with a brilliant behind-the-scenes film of his Santorini experience. So, sit back, press play and prepare to be wowed.

To find out more about this awesome film, we hooked up with the man himself and asked him a few questions about his experience. Here’s what he had to say.

This video gives us a great insight into how the competitors think. At the start the free runners mention their amazement with the venue. What sort of challenges and opportunites for filming did Santorini present? 

The biggest challenge was the amount of opportunities available. There’s so much to do (for both freerunners and us, as videographers) that you don’t really know where to start, or where to film. We were waking up well before sunset to go explore and find the best rooftops to film on. Similarly to the freerunners taking on the large course in the best and most impressive way possible, planning our filming was one of the most important things to do. I had a list of shots I needed and we always made sure we were around when the most impressive action was going down at the best locations.


Freerunners were judged on four criteria, difficult, creative, execution and flow. How would you score the Lumia 1020 on those criteria for this event?

Hah, quite an easy one:

Difficulty: 1/5 – Even my younger sister can use it properly, and that’s saying a lot. It’s incredibly easy to use, even Nokia Pro cam allows a complete novice to play around with the manual controls within seconds.

Creativity: 4/5 – Again, it’s very, very easy to use the manual controls to play with long exposure, macro focusing and the various apps available in the store allow you to modify the image as much as you want.

Execution: 4/5 – I’d give this a 5, but my only wish is that you could change contrast and saturation in video mode. It’s not something that’s necessary for the average person, but it is useful to lower contrast and saturation for those planning on grading the video later on in the edit.

Flow: 5/5 – I’ve been using WP since the day of release and I wouldn’t go back to another OS… It’s speedy, doesn’t lag and makes communication incredibly efficient.

Nokia Lumia 1020

As events like this show freerunning is an increasingly popular global sport.  How do freerunners from different countries differ in style and how did that affect how you filmed them?

I think the most obvious answer here is that the Russians are prepared to double everything – flips, spins, heights, you name it! Mike and I were making sure both of us were in a position to not miss any of their actions. We also tried to get close to them as sometimes they’d also add a few breakdance moves or other bits of interest floor work, all of which you can only appreciate when watching from a close proximity.

You’ve managed to get some very intimate close up shots of the guys? How useful was the Lumia 1020’s zoom for this?

When filming freerunners in their natural habitat, it’s quite important to not get too close for fear of getting a flailing arm or leg to the face. It can be fairly annoying to them having a photographer right up close and personal as they try to plan/execute their next moves so shooting from a distance is great for all of us. You also got more natural reactions and emotions when people aren’t aware that they’re being filmed or photographed, so that’s another added bonus.


Finally, freerunners, like skateboarders and snowboarders, like to film their moves. What did they think of the 1020 and your film?

Early reports suggest they all threw their phones into the Mediterranean Sea and jumped aboard the Nokia ship. Well… they were all impressed, I think! A few minds were blown when we were watching the footage back on the screen as it was!

Brilliant to hear that freerunners are as amazed by the capabilities of the Lumia 1020 as us. It seems that it’s the ideal companion for extreme sports enthusiasts everywhere. But for us lesser mortals, what are the best outdoor adventures to take your Lumia on? Let us hear your thoughts down below.