Filmmaker uses 50 Nokia phones to capture NYC street scenes frozen in time

The “bullet time” special effect may have been made popular by the movie The Matrix back in 1999 (fun-fact segue, “bullet time” is actually trademarked by Warner Bros.), but it still draws wonder from viewers today. Whether it’s bullets flying past Keanu Reeves or a cat jumping across the room in epic slo-mo (we made that last one up, but you get the point), it’s still a cool sight to see. Filmmaker Paul Trillo recently teamed up with Microsoft to create a similar-style video using Nokia Lumia smartphones, but puts a whole new spin on the special effect – literally.

Trillo and his team mounted 50 Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphones (in case you’ve been asleep, Nokia’s Lumia phones are now owned by Microsoft) on a custom, 300-pound rig shaped in an arc, which was dubbed the “Lumia Arc of Wonder.” The arc was then placed on wheels, and pushed around Manhattan in New York City. The smartphones were then wirelessly controlled with a Microsoft Surface tablet, using custom software and a closed Wi-Fi network. The photos taken by each phone was then stitched together to create the effect, resulting in a video called “Living Moments.”


Trillo, who had collaborated with Nokia on the NY 41×41 project, told PetaPixel that the project is meant to “document everyday life on the streets of New York City frozen in time.” The video plays as if you’re rolling inside a ball, watching different city scenes frozen in 3-second increments. It doesn’t look as sharp or smooth as videos made with higher-end equipment (the choppiness can be somewhat nauseating), but it’s still a cool effect, considering that it was made with smartphones. 

Check out PetaPixel’s site for behind-the-scenes photos of the rig, as well as the making-of video below.

(Via PetaPixel)

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