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August 22, 2014

Whodunnit? How the Lumia 630 became a crime film star

Let’s face it, your Lumia has more than a clue about your life. With a record of your photos, your messages, the places you’ve been and the things you’ve done, it’s like your 21st century fingerprint.

This, together with the speedy zooming and swiping on the Lumia 630 and Windows 8.1., was the inspiration behind one of this summer’s coolest interactive campaigns: Lumia Detective.

Elementary, my dear Lumia lovers

This stunner of a campaign, created together by Microsoft Devices Scandinavia and award-winning Danish film director Charlotte Madsen, consists of three two-minute films in the Nordic Noir genre. A crime is committed in each film, and a Lumia 630 is found at the crime scene. After the film, it’s up to you to be the detective and find the clues on the smartphone left behind. Once you’ve solved the mystery, you’ll unlock the final part of the film and see what happened and why.

lumiadetective crew

Here at Conversations, we were amazed at how such short films managed to so totally grab our attention and rouse our inner Sherlocks. To find out more, we decided to interrogate Charlotte Madsen, guilty of directing and producing all three films. Here’s what we discovered.

1. How did the Lumia Detective project get started and how did you get involved?

“I was contacted on email and thought the project sounded interesting. What caught my attention was the creative challenge of producing three short films that needed to tell a full story in less than two minutes, including the motivation for committing the crimes.”

2. What did you have to work with and how free were you to create whatever you wanted? Who came up with the stories and detective cases, who wrote the script?

“There was some basic ideas about the films but I was pretty free to make up the stories and create the characters. I took my time to get to know the Lumia 630 and thought it would be cool to “translate” the way you swipe, zoom, etc. on the phone into a visual expression in the films. I wrote the script myself and then we collaborated in order to achieve the end result.”

lumiadetective scene

3. What was it like making a film in which a smartphone was the main character?

“Actually it was a lot easier than I first thought. We used the beautiful colours of the Lumia 630 to create an individual visual expression for each film so the phone would get more attention. The first film, ‘GunWolf72 Killed You’, for example, has a green theme. And when writing the stories I made sure that no other character played a too significant role.”

4. The films are said to be inspired by the dark and thrilling Nordic Noir genre. Which films in particular have inspired you?

“We took a look at famous Scandinavian suspense and horror TV shows and films, such as The Bridge, The Killing and Let the Right One In. This helped us in creating the cases and the settings.”

underwater lumiadetective

5. We were surprised at how these films of just two minutes kept us in suspense with their eerie, dark atmosphere. How did you achieve this? What tips would you give people wanting to make crime films on their mobile devices?

“In fact, two minutes is a pretty long time when you make a film, that is if you keep it simple. If you think about it, you have many different ways to tell the story at the same time. There is sound, lighting, music, characters, the setting, colours, dialogue and each picture/frame. If you as a filmmaker take time to use every single component to tell your story, you can say a lot in two minutes.

We didn’t shoot on smartphones, but if you are to do that, you should definitely think about the lighting and take a close look at each picture. Think about what you’re telling by for example zooming in on a picture or if you keep an entire scene in one big frame. Think everything through before you shoot, and make sure that you really know your film so that everything adds up in the end, from the story to the dialogue, music, and sound.”


No doubt you’re now keen to see the films now, as well as shoot your own! We hope so, because take our word for it, this campaign totally rocks. To find out if you agree, head on over to the Lumia Detective website where all three cases are now waiting to be solved. If you’re ready to get out your magnifying glass, you have until the end of summer 2014 to nail the crooks. You’ll be pleased to know that by discovering whodunnit, you’ll be automatically entered to win the new Xbox One and a Lumia 630. Regardless of your success as a private eye, please give us a clue about your thoughts on the campaign and the criminally beautiful Lumia 630. As always, comment is free down below.