What it means to tell your Story through Mobile Filmmaking .

Many of you may recognize the name “Cassius Rayner” he is a world renowned British mobile filmmaker, in fact he is the person who inspired myself and Rob to take up smartphone filmmaking and start our business GCTV Media and provide the free mobile video course and the Facebook Group, uptake has been slow but we will continue on this path.
This video is aspiring and motivating for anybody interested in mobile video.
Behind the scenes mobile video training camp at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa. I wrote, produced and was the trainer working with over 30 students and teachers in all aspects of mobile filmmaking. Sponsored by Filmic Pro, grants by Goethe Institute and equipment support from Sony Xperia and Zhiyun.
In September 2022, Goethe-Institute Kinshasa saw the success of a popular class featuring mobile filmmaking, a burgeoning field that students there have rarely touched before. During these days, they’ve been through many unforgettable moments and the charm of creation and cinema will continue nurturing them and giving them power in the future.
Cassius Rayner, the initiator of this project and creator of Go Film It, who used to work for famous companies like BBC and HBO and won multiple international film awards for smartphone filmmaking, is now dedicated to helping the underprivileged young people via mobile filmmaking.
There are three key words that Cassius have always stuck by: engage, motivate and inspire. “I wanted to bridge the gap between those that occupy the spaces in the industry to those that were not being offered the opportunity, training or even general knowledge,” Cassius believes that no matter what your background is, you have a right to learn the fundamentals of filmmaking that is not just for the privileged.
(1) About The Project
Aiming to deliver practical filmmaking training to as many students as possible at the Academy of Fine Arts Kinshasa, the project trained also teachers who are able to deliver continued projects in the future.
Learning from the gimbal operating, tracking, movements, low angles, profiles, to high angle shots, students in the project are able to understand how to physically work with a gimbal and techniques to support improved stabilization.
ZHIYUN, together with Filmic Pro, Sennheiser, and Sony, sponsored this mobile filming project, providing mobile phone gimbals for students.
(2) Opinion of Short Filming
Cassius is a big user of gimbals in his everyday work flow. “As I tend to work in drama, documentaries and music videos the Zhiyun gimbal for me is an essential tool for that polished smooth tracking style I come to expect when using one,” Cassius said. He also commented that smartphone technology develops at a quicker pace than DSLR cameras, with upgraded advanced lenses and resolution capabilities.
Choosing the right equipment that will add value to the production is important, while the wrong gear for the shoot can have a negative impact on your visuals. When asked about the relationship between the equipment and the creation of a video, Cassius holds that planning is key. Planning and understanding the video you are going to create will dictate what equipment you require including audio mics, lighting, hand held rigs, gimbals, external lenses and more.
Making a good short film is a true art form, and a powerful form of storytelling. If you wonder what features of a good short film are, Cassius would say simple locations, as little dialogue as possible, good sound, good framing and composition. Just keep the shots simple, and let the story and the actors fill the frame. He emphasized that story is everything. No matter how good a filmmaker or camera operator you are, if the script is bad no visuals will make it better.
(3) Belief in Education
In this project training students in the University of Kinshasa, Cassius told us the main thing that really impressed him was their determination, passion, and how they prepared to work hard and absorb any skills, training they are given. They are from poor backgrounds but are so rich with culture, stories and talent. Their films were really good combining modern styles of filming with their own unique signature using local folk tales and culture.
Speaking of his belief in educating unprivileged young people, Cassius felt very passionately about everybody having a choice and opportunity — Just because you may come from a poor background, that should not go against you in having the opportunity to get training or go to college to learn filmmaking. In the past years, he has trained many poor young people in film production who have a gift which can only shine if they are given equal opportunities. “I think the future is bright because smartphone technology is opening up new opportunities for those that are coming from poorer communities,” Cassius said.
ZHIYUN also cares for everyone with a passion for creativity, and will keep inspiring and helping them to realize their creative imagination.
(4) Next-Step Plan
In 2023 Cassius Rayner wants to continue to launch the next mobile filmmaking training camp in a country that needs it, since many emails arrive asking for a training. He will also be shooting a feature film later this year using Sony Xperia mobiles and Zhiyun gimbals.
Partly sourced from Zhiyun Tech.