Dr Max Schleser

Massey Senior Lecturer, Visual Communication Design

Max Schleser was one of the first people to make a feature film using a mobile phone.

“When I made that film, in 2006 in Japan, it was a creative and technical challenge,” he says. “The phones only had two megapixel cameras; people said you could only use them for still photography. I wanted to do kind of guerilla film making and try new things.”

Now there are more than a dozen international mobile and smartphone film festivals, video and audio quality is much better, and some nice apps make the phone a more sophisticated filmmaking tool.

Max, a senior lecturer in Digital Media at Massey, remains interested in the experimental edge of filmmaking. “It’s really fun to work with mobile – you can put it on skateboards, climb a tree, send it up on a weather balloon. It’s about finding new viewpoints, creating new visual language.” And as a filmmaker you get different material, Max says, because people tend to be more relaxed than if you have a big camera.


Promo trailer for Max’s first mobile film: ‘Max with a Keitai’

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Making Guerilla Films

Then there are opportunities to capitalise on a mobile phone’s global reach. “With the phone connected to the internet, we can collaborate on a film project with many people around the world.” His research projects include 24 Frames, 24 Hours, an international collaboration with over 180 mobile phone filmmakers, from Malaysia, the UK, France, Germany and the US, as well as…

Then there are opportunities to capitalise on a mobile phone’s global reach. “With the phone connected to the internet, we can collaborate on a film project with many people around the world.” His research projects include 24 Frames, 24 Hours, an international collaboration with over 180 mobile phone filmmakers, from Malaysia, the UK, France, Germany and the US, as well as New Zealand.

Dr Max Schleser

Dr Max Schleser: “The exciting thing about mobile phone film making is that it doesn’t have such well defined rules at the moment. We’re defining them now at Massey”

 

Max’s students produce films across many genres, ranging from music videos to documentaries, such as one for the Cook Islands National Council of Women filmed in Rarotonga and screened on Cook Islands TV.

“The exciting thing about mobile phone film making is that it doesn’t have such well defined rules at the moment. We’re defining them now at Massey.”

As well as teaching, Max is involved in numerous independent short films, feature documentaries and TV productions for companies such as Spectre Films, Open Mike Productions, TV3 Malaysia, and the BBC. He’s also worked on mobile media consultancy projects for Nokia.

Max co-founded the international mobile creative network FILMOBILE and the Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa, MINA. Work by Max’s students is shown publicly at the annual MINA film screening.

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