Mobile phone filmmaking as a participatory medium: The case study of 24 Frames 24 Hours

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för konsthistoria och visuella studier

Abstract: This research paper explores the recently evolving field of mobile filmmaking as a medium with a potential to increase participation of individuals and communities in their environment. Through the case study of the global mobile filmmaking project 24 Frames 24 Hours, the thesis answers two main questions: how can mobile filmmaking as a process (i.e. the process of creating short films) be used as a participatory and creative medium?, and how can visual products of mobile filmmaking and the way they are presented increase audience participation? The analysis was done through the local and global aspects of the production and distribution of mobile filmmaking, as well as by placing mobile filmmaking within the discourse of cinema history and new media. Due to its accessibility to anyone in terms of price and skills, mobile filmmaking increases one´s participation in his/her physical and social environment and can become an alternative to the mainstream media. In terms of audience participation, the research shows that mobile filmmaking as such does not offer anything so new if compared with examples from the cinema history. What is new about mobile filmmaking is the way it is presented, which in the case of 24 Frames 24 Hours is a database-like structure, allowing the viewer to create new collages and new narratives out of the uploaded videos. However, how much audience can interact with the content and participate in the community depends largely on the extent of the website´s interactivity, which is determined by the interface but also by the actual designer of the website.

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