Now Playing on a Tiny Screen
By LAURA M. HOLSON
Published: October 17, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16 - When Eric Young directed his first episodes for the cellphone serial drama "24: Conspiracy," it was the bullet holes that vexed him most. Mr. Young, hired to create 24 one-minute mobile episodes for a spinoff of the hit series "24," learned that making video for a pocket-size screen is far different from making it for a 27-inch television set.
About 70 percent of the images he used were close-ups of actors, because panoramic shots appeared blurry. He said he used tiny speakers to hear what "the sound of a neck cracking" would be like on a cellphone after one of the episode's characters died from a snapped vertebra. But for gunshot wounds, the director was forced to make the bullet holes extra large and to double the amount of blood so they could be easily identified on the small screen.
"We are all experimenting to see what works," Mr. Young said. "Every new medium finds its own way and rules. It will be true for this one, too."
In the past year, media companies have begun experimenting with broadcasting original programming made specifically for mobile phones to increase awareness of their television shows and movies. And interest in such programming may grow further: last week, Apple introduced a video iPod, which, while not a mobile phone, is another test of consumers' interest in portable entertainment. [read on...]