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September 23, 2014

Is this the coolest music video ever shot on a smartphone?

Armed with nothing but a little creativity, some kick-ass dance moves and the world’s greatest camera smartphone, filmmaker Dutch Doscher and the art collective Grryo have created something booty-shakingly awesome.

How? By creating what just might be the coolest smartphone-filmed music video yet. Featuring some of NYC’s finest dancers showing off their freestyle moves on the streets of Manhattan, the upbeat dance track “Sunrise” by Slaptop is guaranteed to get you a groovin’. And as if that’s not cool enough, the entire thing was shot on a Lumia 1020! Dutch, the man behind the camera, was kind enough to answer a few questions that we had about the creation of the video and the filming process. So, first hit play and check out the video, and then stick around to hear what Dutch had to say on what might just be the coolest  music video yet shot on a smartphone,.

We’re loving how creative the video is! What was the inspiration behind it and how did you get involved?

As a part of Grryo, many of us received Nokia 1020 phones to be creative with and I always like to see how far mobile can be pushed. I’ve had the idea to drop people dancing in the middle of the city and see what happens. It was really fun, but we broke a few phones along the way.

I reached out to Slaptop after I heard the song on the radio, and they were totally game for it. It was important for me to get permission to use the song, because when you spend that much time on something you don’t want to have the song pulled off the video on youtube.

How did people react to the dancers?

I was surprised at how few people stopped to watch. We found the dancers through Craigslist and friends of friends. Our casting call was to find the best daring dancers we could find. The producer Jon Gestal did a great job coordinating schedules.

Each dancer was with us for no longer than 15 minutes. They went through the song twice and just headed on their way.

Grryo 2

Were there any interesting reactions that didn’t make it into the video?

One of the dancers came from a pole dancing school and she climbed up into a scaffolding in the city and was doing some pole work. A guy walking by tripped over the sidewalk watching her, but kept on walking.

Amazingly, the entire video was filmed with a Lumia 1020. Why did you choose the 1020 and what the biggest challenges and greatest pleasures using your Lumia?

The entire video was shot on the Nokia 1020. There was no piece of it shot on any other camera or phone. The biggest challenge was finding the right video app.

Currently there are no video apps that lock both exposure and focus. That’s the real challenge going forward for anyone shooting anything professional and polished looking on a Windows Phone.

The video looks very smooth. How did you edit it and what was the editing process like?

I work as a creative director EUX Media in NY and LA and I’m lucky to have access to amazing editors. The editor CC Weske, did a really good job fixing the exposure problems and finding the best moments.

Grryo 1

If you could give five top tips for shooting a music video on a Lumia what would they be?

1. Movement, either in front of the camera or the camera moving. Use the cinematic aspect ratio to your advantage, I wish we had done that more.

2. Plan your shoot.

3. Keep the camera movement smooth, handheld mobile video looks like my mom shot it.

4. Put the camera in places you wouldn’t expect it. We put the camera on a rigged pole for high angles, and I laid on the street for some low angles.

5. Love and believe in what you are shooting, it comes through.

Finally, if you could have been any one of the dancers featured, who would you have been and why?

I love working with daring actors and dancers. It’s a skill I don’t have. To put myself out there and let loose and I’m in awe of anyone that can do that.

Grryo 3

We’re loving the innovative and engaging style of Dutch’s Lumia-shot music video and hope you are too! Huge thanks to Dutch for sharing a few illuminating insights with us, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he creates next. How about you? Let us know in the comments what you think of the video and if it is, indeed, the coolest music video ever shot on a smartphone?


Lumia videos