Content Creation with Galaxy: Q&A with Gareth Berliner and Kiruna Stamell
Samsung Galaxy devices have liberated actors Gareth and Kiruna to shoot their children’s series, Pirate and Parrot, during lockdown
LONDON, UK – 17th February, 2020 – Samsung’s brand manifesto, ‘Do What You Can’t’ calls on users to defy barriers and do what can’t be done in the everyday. How people capture moments and express themselves creatively depends on the tools they use, and with the ever-expanding world of social media, the opportunity to create epic things with smartphones has never been greater.
Meet Gareth Berliner and Kiruna Stamell, renowned comedians and performers who seek to champion diversity and disability. Over the past few months, they’ve made the most of their time at home in lockdown with the creation of their children’s TV series, Pirate and Parrot. Filmed in their kitchen, entirely using Samsung Galaxy smartphones, the series aims to celebrate diversity and educate and change people’s perception of disabled people.
What Galaxy device do you own and how has it played a role in your life during the lockdown period?
- Kiruna: I use the Galaxy S10e because it is powerful but small. My disability and dwarfism means I typically find holding and operating a larger phone difficult. I have been surprised by the lack of choice available in the marketplace for powerful smaller phones, but the S10e gives me the perks of the larger models with easy accessibility.
- Gareth: I own a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which has been invaluable during lockdown. On a personal level, it’s allowed me to connect with my friends and family across the world, keeping my mental health in check knowing I have easy access to a network of support. For work, it’s been my go-to camera for self-tapes for acting auditions.
What features did you find most useful during this project?
- Kiruna: The high-quality camera and microphone on the phones is the best. It’s mind-blowing that we can shoot in HD, edit and upload videos all from our mobile phones. It’s like we have a mini film studio right in the palms of our hands. Also, with our limited filming space, the Ultra Wide-Angle lens meant we could squeeze everything into the shot. As the S10e has a headphone jack, we also added a separate directional microphone, which elevated our content even more.
- Gareth: I particularly found the camera useful, where being able to shoot in 4K UHD gave a real professional quality to our content production. The S Pen has also been a champion. Being able to use it to draw, scribble notes and storyboard for Pirate and Parrot was an incredible asset. It also acted as our camera assistant, where we could use the S Pen to remotely capture photos from a distance.
What are your main objectives for Pirate and Parrot? What do you want to achieve?
Our show celebrates diversity, and we include disability as the biggest flagship of diversity. Our main goal is to help educate and change people’s perception of disabled people. We want to create positive change in the world and would love Pirate and Parrot to educate hearts and minds.
You cannot be ‘diverse’ or champion equality without championing disability. Disability in a children’s show has been proven to directly improve access for disabled people, as kids learn to be adaptable. We want children to watch an episode and feel empowered to play ‘Pirate and Parrot’ on their own terms, making up stories with friends and family. It not only fosters resilience in the community but encourages healthy attitudes to diversity. We want to be able to give opportunities to more disabled actors and crew who are so often excluded from lots of productions because of their disabilities.
How did you find shooting and editing from home using your smartphone?
Staying disciplined was challenging during the pandemic. Our brains were full of real-world worries, and the pressure to be productive was at an all-time high. Our Samsung devices alleviated a lot of our workload, as shooting and editing from home was far easier than we expected. They’re versatile and can be placed in all manner of places and positions to capture content. Being able to edit from anywhere in the house is liberating.
Was there a key feature of your Galaxy device that allowed you to create the show during lockdown? How did it make the process easier for you?
- Kiruna: Portability was key feature of the devices. Being able to get a wide angle shot in such a tiny room was fantastic. Storage capabilities on the phones also made a massive impact on our ability to capture long, single shot takes. The clear screen meant our director, who worked with us over video call, was able to observe the shots we were getting in real-time and give us direction or request retakes
- Gareth: The processing speed of my phone was incredible for editing and even worked faster than my laptop. Also, the memory capacity of my phone meant we were able to store all the episodes on the phone while we were editing and processing. We also made use of the excellent warranty service, where a technician came to our garden, observed COVID-19 rules and addressed all our questions with ease.
Do you have any other creative plans for the future using your Samsung Galaxy device?
Yes, we’ve decided to expand our channels and go full throttle into social media production. As people whose bodies are ‘non-conformist’, we aren’t connected to an endless world of influential people ready to elevate our circumstances. As disabled people, our stories go largely untold, so we’ve decided to become the original source of our community and normalise disability. We’re a positive representation of a disabled relationship, as we both proudly identify as disabled. One of us has an invisible disability and one of us has a physical one and we want to share that with the world. So, expect a stronger presence from us on Instagram and TikTok, and continued development of our brand. Our phones are so integral to all of this, we’re even looking forward to investing in a third Samsung phone to devote to our joint projects.
Why do you like shooting and editing using Samsung devices?
- Kiruna: Using a Samsung enabled us to access a broad spectrum of Android apps for editing, which lead to an enhanced experience. It’s great that Samsung keeps us connected with the best and latest products and services
- Gareth: I love shooting on Samsung devices because I trust the product and the brand, and I prefer the Android operating system. Samsung’s built in S Pen, fast processing speed and huge memory capacity is a great example of both their engineering prowess and design style.
If you had to give top tips for people looking to create content from home with their smartphone, what would it be?
Google ‘how to’ videos. Someone out there has always got a great guide to follow. Don’t waste your life stumbling around in the dark, but by all means experiment. Push the features to their limit. TikTok was one of the best teaching tools for us, in terms of learning old school linear filming tricks.
We also found story boarding useful in helping us tell our stories and optimise them for each platform. Developing 15 second Instagram videos is a great way to get started. We often feel intimidated by great content creators, but they were once beginners too!
You also need to be brave, as people have strong opinions online so self-care and looking after your sense of well-being is very important. This is best done by staying connected to the things that are important to you offline. Ask yourself, what are you putting out into the world, is it an enriching experience get from your content or a destructive one? If you enjoy the world of content creation and social media, then keep persevering!
- Top Tips:
- Do your research and know your marketplace: Explore each social media platform. Watching other people’s content is inspiring, you see things you can improve on and emulate, and it helps keep you inspired
- Get the right Apps: There are some incredible apps that can help you create great content. Apps are continually growing and give you creative freedom, so embrace them!
- Keep on top of trends: Trends fluctuate but keeping up to date with the latest and greatest trends allows you to stay current
- Invest in extra equipment: Whether it’s a selfie light, lighting, a tripod etc – the right equipment can create an extra set of hands, as well make your production quality look even more professional
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes: Mistakes teach you everything and once you’ve made one, you learn not to do it again
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