“The visible world is no longer a reality and the unseen world no longer a dream.”

-William Butler Yeates


In the second decade of the 21st century mobile media devices are everywhere. The Viewfinders project is exploring what this means for mobile film – its impact on both creation and viewing.

The mobility and functionality of devices like smartphones mean that audience engagement with content no longer needs to be a passive viewing exercise, and can now in fact involve interaction, participation, and even location aware or responsive content. Anyone, anywhere, anytime, can be a film audience or film producer.

Viewfinders is a case study of this new frontier that aims to capture the experience of travel by amassing travelling shots from a range of contributors. The narrative will effectively produce itself, emerging organically without intervention in the form of shared conventions across the footage. We’re hoping to demonstrate the unique ability of mobile film to do something traditional film can’t: exist beyond the screen. You don’t watch Viewfinders, you share in its experience.

At this early stage we’re looking for content around which we can build an interface. Participants are asked to submit raw footage filmed on mobile devices of between 5 and 50 seconds, capturing the experience of being on the move by using only the travelling shot. Once we have enough footage we will develop a system that automatically sequences the shots according to a shared trait from one to the next. For this reason, the key characteristics for each shot must be identified when the video is uploaded. At the end of the project participants will be able to engage with the content through the Viewfinders AR interface and influence the narrative according to the travel conventions they want to follow, whether that be by following clips that document the experience of being within an overwhelming crowd of people, or standing in remote foreign wilderness.

Keep up with how the project is progressing on our updates page, where we will be documenting milestones and points of interest as they unfold.

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