‘Bullet time’ effect created using Lumia 1020 in Nokia’s ‘Living Moments’ video

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Filmmaker Paul Trillo hit the streets of Manhattan with 50 Nokia smartphones in a specially built rig to capture creative portraits of everyday New Yorkers that put a new spin on classic street photography. And as the video ”Lumia Arc of Wonder” shows, the spin is quite literal. Using a wirelessly linked Surface tablet, Trillo was able to trigger each of the 50 Nokia Lumia 1020 handsets to snap an image simultaneously.

Once the pictures in the collage were balanced, stabilized and slowed down, they were used to create the ‘Bullet Time’ special effect, developed by Michel Gondry and made famous by the Wachowski Brothers’ movie “The Matrix.” The process gives the effect of a point-of-view moving animation despite the fact that each image used was captured at exactly the same moment but from a different angle or position.

Using smartphones in a rig to capture creative moving images is not new, nor is it unique to Nokia. In order to highlight how good its processors are, Qualcomm built a static rig containing 130 HTC One smartphones to achieve the same effect and called it the “ultimate photobooth.”

And while Qualcomm’s video is cool, what makes Trillo’s film so impressive is that the rig and everything connected with it was mobile. He and his team travelled around the city with the contraption, including its generator and the routers in tow in order to track down the perfect shot. As such, the making of film is almost as impressive as the finished result.