It was a great conference organized by the great Glen Mulcahy, and one thing made me really happy: In 2015, around one and a half mobile journalists visting the Mobile Journalism Conference in Dublin were brave enough to admit that they were trying to use Android phones. This year, the wonderful Bernhard Lill and me had between us in two workshops nearly 50 Android #Mojos. That´s a great change, and even some of the iPhone lovers flirted a little bit with the idea that Android might do the trick as well. Laurent Clause made a nice little video about his impressions from Mojocon, and he was kind enough to share my soundbite on why Android Mojo matters so much.
A child of the economic crisis: Enrique Frisancho and his partner Ana María Vicens had started a design agency together. But their customers were suffering from the economic crisis. Therefore Ana and Enrique decided not to design for others, but to bring their own product to the market: the well-known mobile journalism acsessory „Shoulderpod„. I met Enrique in his office in Barcelona and talked to him about quality, local sourcing and life (shot on iPhone with FilmicPro, edited on iPhone with Pinnacle Studio Pro).
I walked through a refugee camp in Hamburg with Ricoh´s Theta S. We used it to enrich a linear TV report on the opening of special women shelters in the camp. I had to hold it a little low as filming was not permitted outside, only at the little opening for women shelters you see at the back. Sound with external microphone (Rode Smartlav+), recorded with Android EasyVoiceRecorder. Workflow: Theta Desktop Programm on Windows 10, edited with Windows Movie Maker, 360 metadata with Metadata tool.
I´ve met the great people behind Berlin based LUUV yesterday, and they gave me a quick demonstration of their #Mojo accessory: Inventend by sports crazy young folks from Berlin, build in order to achieve what a steady cam does, but much smaller. The basic version is a mechanical stabilizer (199 €) that can be combined with an electronic gimbal (bundle for 479 €). Right now, LUUV are hoping to enter the second phase of their company´s growth with a Companisto crowdfunding campaign, after initially starting of their project with a Kickstarter project. I wish them luck.
At NDR Hamburg, I have played around with Ricoh´s Theta S a little – a consumer, easy to handle 360 camera for just under 400 €. The results are best viewed on mobile phones as you get the nice feeling of really looking around in the room. Make sure you watch it in best resolution (1080p – sometimes you might have to change youtube settings). The sound was recorded seperately on a mobile phone with Rode SmartLav+ and EasyVoiceRecorder. The whole package was assembled with (yes!) Windows Movie Maker. A quick workflow actually, and one that worked quite well. In my experience, it´s rather about longer shots and scenes to be able to explore a room, and about walking around in the picture. This little experiment consits of only two transitions, three scenes in about 1´30 minutes.
Mobile journalism is a great way to work in Europe or the US – the advantages (lower cost, higher flexibility) are widely discussed. But in developing countries, #Mojo really makes an exciting difference. And it matters much more than here I guess. I had a chance to explore the options during a training with BBC Media Action in Yangon.
It was a little experiment. I met Torben Tietz at a sofa concert my wonderful wife organized for my birthday (must have been the 23rd or so this year). Torben played a great gig in our garden – and made me think of how I could bring two passions together: music and #mojo. Not so difficult: We agreed to film a music video for one of his songs at his little studio in Hamburg, at „106Hz„. I used four smartphones – two Androids (Nexus 6, Honor 7), an iPhone 6 and a Lumia 930. And no, the room didn´t explode when they all met. The opposite happened: It all went smoothly and harmonic (with the iPhone being responsible for the need of some last-minute transcoding before editing on laptop with Premiere Pro). Torben made it easy choosing a black and white video so I had no problems with colour matching. I filmed with FilmicPro, the FilmicPro Beta for Android and CinemaFV5. On Lumia, I used the generic Windows camera. I enjoyed it (so much that we even recorded a second video, see below) – hope you will, too.
Can a drone help #mobilejournalism? I wanted to try how easy it is (for an amateur like me) to fly a modern drone , how big a hassle it is to take it to a spot and assemble it, and how good the picture quality is. I asked DJI for a trial of their Phantom 3 Professional which is arguably the most advanced drone on the market in this price range (around 1400 €). Sadly, they only had a Phantom 3 Advanced (1100 €) at hand, but I still tried it out. Want to hear some results? And, more importantly, want to hear what a shepherd has to do with it? More…