Blog

Musings by Snehal aka Fearless, a filmmaker with a hankering for technology and science.  

Making a Short Film on an Android Phone with help from Mugen Power

Inspired by the emergence of short films made on iphones, I decided to put the video capabilities of my Samsung Captivate Galaxy S phone to the test.  I'm wrote a little sci-fi story that will be filmed on the phone and edited on my laptop using Final Cut Pro. 

Making a Short Film on an Android Phone with help from Mugen Power

The Samsung Galaxy S phones can shoot pretty good looking HD quality at 720p, but it need a bunch of lighting to expose it well.  This means that the camera has to be continuously "on" while the set is lit, allowing us to see what the image will look like. Too bad the battery life of these babies is notoriously short.  While researching ways to keep the phone going longer without keeping it plugged into an AC outlet (which could really screw it up if there is a power spike), my production assistant came across batteries by Mugen Power.  

When I contacted Mugen and told them about our project, they decided to support our work and sent over a couple of their 3200mAh batteries made specifically for the Captivate.  These batteries have over twice the juice of the 1500mAh batteries that come standard in the phone, but the capacity comes at a price.  The new battery is twice as thick as the original, so Mugen supplies a new battery door to replace the stock one.

As you can see, my phone grew quite a bit fatter.  Yet the new heft is definitely worth it.  After a couple of full battery charge cycles, I can see an enourmous difference in battery life.  I can be on the web, taking photos and playing games all day and I'll still have a charge at night.  That was absolutely never the case with the stock battery.  I put the phone's video camera through the paces.  I was able to shoot video without worrying about the battery counter flashing warnings at me.

Making a Short Film on an Android Phone with help from Mugen Power

The way I convert the footage to use for editing, is by downloading it to my computer through USB and then using Apple Compressor to make Quicktime files in ProRes Format.  I leave the frame rate and size in native form when transcoding.  It can always be resized later in Final Cut.

Stay tuned for more news about the Android Phone Short Film project from www.FearlessProductions.tv

Snehal Patel
Director/DP