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Whether you’re creating or consuming technology, the newly announced Xperia 1 is a smartphone powerhouse.

With its 21:9 CinemaWideTM display, inspired by Sony’s award-winning BRAVIA® technologies and powered by their X1TM for mobile, everything you watch can be enjoyed with more contrast, colour and clarity.

But the connection with the world of cinema doesn’t end with its display. Through collaboration with the engineers of Sony’s professional digital camera division (known for its CineAlta brand, and the “VENICE” cameras currently being used to shoot James Cameron’s Avatar sequels), Xperia 1 takes motion picture to the next level.

Its Cinema Pro feature allows you – with the help of eight different expressions – to turn the clips you’ve created into cinematic stories, and in the class-leading quality that 4K HDR 24fps in 21:9 provides.

Filming on the Xperia 1

Glenn Gainor, President of Innovation Studios Sony Entertainment & Technology, and the head of physical production at Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems, took to the stage at MWC to talk about how Xperia 1 brings together the worlds of creativity and technology in one device.

But after he’d wowed MWC delegates, we caught up with Glenn to talk 5G, the tools the Xperia 1 offers filmmakers, and the ways Sony’s new flagship smartphone is being used behind-the-scenes at Screen Gems.

Glenn Gainor with the Xperia 1

Can you talk to us about how creativity and technology go hand-in-hand?
Creativity, when combined with technology, brings about amazing content for audiences to enjoy and as creators intended it to be seen.

At its core, Sony is a creative entertainment company driven by technology, showing first-hand the connection between creativity and technology.

In a world booming with content from games to films, having technology that will make the creative process seamless and efficient is often key to breaking through.

The Xperia 1 now plays a role at Sony’s Screen Gems. Can you tell us more about it?
We have started using Xperia 1 as a professional-grade monitor on-site to view images as they are captured by our cameras.

In the near future, I can picture a film set where we no longer have to gather around one monitor, but rather have one smartphone per person displaying high picture quality on location.

The Xperia 1 being used on-set

How will the Xperia 1’s 21:9 CinemaWideTM display change the way the consumer views content on their Xperia Mobile device?
Sony’s ground-breaking technology packed into the Xperia 1 enables us to view the content in exactly the way we as creators envisioned.

The Xperia 1 has the world’s first 4K HDR OLED display*, making sure the films are delivered with striking colours with great depths.

Master monitor screen showing incredible depth of colour

The CinemaWide™ screen of the Xperia 1 is a professional-grade display, meaning it has a high contrast ratio offering the deepest blacks and natural whites for a fantastic viewing experience.

5G is a big subject at the moment, can you discuss what role 5G will play in this new era of creation?
With this new reality, large capacity communication is going to be essential to handle massive amounts of data.  And there’s no doubt that 5G will play a key role in this new era of content creation.

With the power of 5G connectivity, more and more people will be able to join us in telling their stories. I believe in the power of Sony’s technology and its potential in content creation because today, more than ever, storytelling and technology are woven together.

5G will not only unlock the power of content for consumers – offering speed with reduced latency and the power to enable full enjoyment of new and richer content – but it will also open immense opportunities for those who make content from movies to games.

As I mentioned earlier, we are looking to Xperia as a handheld monitor for filmmakers. Imagine if we can use the Xperia smartphones to push our footage from the cameras to the onset filmmakers all the way to our editors who may be in a post-production facility in our own studio. Our options are limitless.

Glenn Gainor using the Xperia 1 in the film process

What tools does the Xperia 1 offer content creators?
In content creation, “reality” is essential, and we are giving content creators the tools needed to tell real-world stories in radically new ways at Innovation Studios.

Sony’s very own Innovation Studios and its technologies are revolutionising virtual content creation.

The studio’s gear includes Sony’s professional camera system which digitises physical data with our volumetric Image Acquisition technology. By layering this photo-realistic three-dimensional recreation of the physical world with a virtual character that can interact, we are realizing telepresence in content creation.

This is going to take shooting, picture quality, and viewing to another level. We are leading a revolution in content creation.

Are movies being made differently to accommodate the rise of people watching films on their phones?
We have to be aware that our movies can be enjoyed across an array of platforms from the cinema screen to the phone. With the advances of phone screen technology like what we see in Xperia 1 it’s critical to be mindful of high dynamic range (HDR) while shooting the movie. In fact, we’ve recently leaned into shots that celebrate blacker blacks and whiter whites because we know that downstream technology has the latitude to accommodate these images.

Want to find out more about the Xperia 1? Check out our explainer here.

*Xperia 1 features a 6.5 inch Ultra Wide 4K (1644 x 3840px) OLED High Dynamic Range (HDR) display. Verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAX Service against the published display specifications for over 14,000 smartphones. Correct as of the 24th February 2019.