Monday, June 26, 2006

60 Second Surreal Competition at The Hayward

Make a short film on your mobile, your DV Cam, or any other moving image media and submit the finished product to The Hayward Gallery by 14 July.

The Hayward Gallery is now receiving completed films for the 60 Second Surreal competition. The staff at the gallery will be selecting the best to showcase at the National Film Theatre on 21 July 2006. A selection of the best films will also be streamed on the Hayward Gallery and Lovefilm websites, as well as a selection being made available to the public to download to their computers, PDAs or mobile phones.

The senders of the best films each week will receive some Surreal prizes, including a pair of complimentary tickets to see 'Undercover Surrealism' at the Hayward Gallery and tickets to the National Film Theatre for the film of their choice. The best film selected each week will also win a six-month subscription to Lovefilm.

Via Film London

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Carnival of the Mobilists number 33

is live over at Rudy's De Waele's m-trends. Rudy's done a fantastic job this week, and it's well worth a look.

Fox Mobile top tips for video content

I'm currently selling my soul as a consultant to Mr Murdoch (well, doing some consultancy for one of his firms and they're lovely so I'm pleasantly surprised by my experience). As such, I'm interested in what his various companies are up to in mobile so I was interested to spot this, via Fierce mobile, via, giving Mitch Feinman's thoughts on mobile video.

These are the excerpts that Fierce highlighted:

  • Audio tip for mobisodes: "Rule about sound: Less is better. Don't want to crowd the soundtrack--it would cause too much confusion."
  • Visual tip for mobisodes: "Mobile phone screens are darker than their larger counterparts. The scenes need to be shot brighter so that they are more easily viewed."
  • On the success of some mobile properties: "Family Guy has been hugely popular on the mobile platform. Since its launch in February 2005, there have been nearly 3 million downloads of Family Guy mobile content--ringers, games, wallpaper and ringtones."
  • On American Idol: "This year, there were nearly 65 million text messages throughout the fifth season of American Idol, breaking last year's record of 41.5 million text messages."
  • On next steps: "In terms of future mobisodes or mobile video leveraging these properties, it is certainly possible and we are actively considering and doing more around properties with existing mobisodes series. It is we will continue experimenting on what works for consumer."
And if you're wanting more information about where mobile tv and video are going, then it's well worth joining the Oxford Forum (it's free) and checking out this thread. Very insightful on what's happening in this area, especially the disruption it could cause. It includes commentary from Tom Ahonen, Steve Flaherty and Ajit Jaokar.

A bit of a round up

I've had a nudge from a few regular readers that I haven't blogged anything in a while so I'm going to make a concerted effort to do a bit more over the next few days for you. So bear with me, this will be in spurts!

So what's new in my mobile life?

Well apart from being very busy on some major football related projects (is there a World Cup on or someting?), I have been getting out and about a bit. Swedish Beers on the 14th was a blast - round up on the Swedish Beers blog so thanks to everyone who came to that. Then this week, there was the lovely Fathom Partners party [a few pix here] where I caught up with Jessica from Fathom Partners, Gillian from Emap, George from ICSTIS, Julie from Vodafone and Pamir from flytxt. I also met some folks from Monstermob who weren't exactly reeling from the announcement that Martin Higginson had got the old heave-ho but felt that the content market was changing dramatically and moving away from content per se, and towards applications like Instant Messenger on your phone. I guess Shozu (of which I'm a big fan) comes into that category. Margins on content sales are so slim now that everyone and his dog wants a cut, it's very hard to make any real cash. And we're still stifled by ridiculous data charges. Why a network operator thinks it's ok to charge you 2p a kb when browsing a mobile internet site or downloading a video, ringtone or picture, I really don't know. Anyway, an interesting point of view.

Then on Thursday there's the massive o2 wireless festival at Hyde Park, London and Leeds. I toddled along there on Thursday, courtesy of Mike Butcher at mbites and we had a jolly old time. KT Tunstall and the Fun Lovin' Criminals were the highlight for me. We did get into the o2 VIP blueroom even though we weren't o2 customers and that was kinda fun. There was a really nice chillout area with free massages and beds and beanbags to lie on and there was also a tent with the 4th stage in there and a bar. Then the VIP bus which gave you a birds eye view of the stage. And I think the o2 branding worked very well. They even blew bubbles (like the ad) over the crowd at the main stage.

Motorola had a presence there too showing off some of their fancy new handsets but also providing another free chillout area and a bar that wasn't as busy as some of the others. Whilst we were there, we tried doing some podcasting - unfortunately the sound quality was appalling so it won't be published. However, we did end up chatting to some teenagers about their festival experience and whether they thought any better or worse about o2. They'd been the day before and had bought an o2 sim pack just so that they could get into the blueroom. They went in there and won tickets for the Thursday so that doubled their enthusiasm for o2 so it clearly worked for them.

There was also a bit of guerilla marketing going on outside the event. As we went in we got 'night in' packs from T-mobile containing a bath bomb, some mini pringles, a National Lottery scratchcard (I didn't win anything) and a very fancy T-mobile branded bottle opener. Then on the way out, we got given free Snickers bars from errr, I guess Snickers. At the event we also got to try Black Tower Pinot Grigio. Not the best glass of wine I've ever tasted!

Pictures of the festival on flickr here and here.