Thanks to Orange County, California, educator Dennis Grice, I learned last night and today at ITSC 2009 about the “Film on the Fly” digital storytelling contest: A “Mobile Phone Video Challenge.” Karen Mongomery had mentioned this to me awhile back but I had not seen any of the videos submitted to the contest until today. According to the website hosted by KOCE-TV (public television in Southern California):

We’re texting a secret story prompt to cell phones all over the world on March 14, 2009. Over the next 20 hours, people will be creating stories, making mobile phone videos and posting them to YouTube. Will you be part of this global experience?

The contest’s Ning site includes the seven videos which were submitted for the first edition of Film on Fly, which took place on Feburary 7, 2009. The prompt was sent by SMS text message to participants who signed up, and they had less than 24 hours to plan, shoot, edit and share their video. Cell phones had to be used to RECORD the video, but editing software on a computer could be used for the “chopping” (editing) process. The prompt was:

Everything changed – when the box mysteriously arrived at my doorstep.

Matt Monjan and Steve Dembo created the two minute short “Film on the Fly – Matrix Style,” which I think is absolutely hilarious. (This is, of course, guerrilla marketing for the Discovery Educator Network. A very effective method I think.)

Are you ready to take the blue pill?! 😉

Karen Montgomery created this very clever 2 minute video with some help from her family.

This was Hall Davidson’s 31 second submission, filmed at an airport security checkpoint:

This one (which I think was created by Dennis Grice, but I’m not sure) uses a very clever technique of panning across hand-drawn images, which are shown sequentially in a flip book.

Great creativity, everyone! I’m signing up for round two! Won’t you join us? Get out your cell phone and let’s start making some movies! 🙂

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes' free newsletter. Check out Wes' video tutorial library, "Playing with Media." Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on

On this day..

Share →

One Response to Film on the Fly: Get your Cell Phones Ready for Movie Making!

  1. Wesley-

    This was truly a blast and I am planning to participate on Pi Day 3/14, too! My husband and daughter we’re real troopers. I blogged about my experience: providing details on how KOCE-TV, PBS organized the challenge. I feel that this is just the type of activity teachers could modify to engage students using cell phones. Why not an after school or weekend FOTF to illustrate a concept or topic being studied? Or create cell phone PSAs?

    Ithaca College had a Cell Flix contest in 2006 and 2007 which produced some really great cell phone movies. Unfortunately, they are no longer hosting it. The winner from 2006 is still on YouTube at Still one of my cell phone film favorites.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Made with Love in Oklahoma City