The future of making memories


But while the numbers are big, Evans’ tools are small. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of his stunning images is that many – both moving and still – are shot with his smartphone. This nomad travels light, with a kit that fits easily into a backpack – maximum power, minimum space.

Evans’ productions exemplify the creative potential of the latest technology. “A cool thing about the time I’ve grown up in is that just in the last five years technology has advanced so much,” he says. “Every day there’s a new camera or a new piece of technology that further streamlines the way I work.”

He adds: “Everything is getting smaller. You used to have to carry bags and cases of equipment to get good 4k [ultra high definition] video, but the fact that the phone in my pocket now shoots stunning 4k video is a massive benefit.”

His smartphone [SAMSUNG NOTE9], he says, “is the office in my pocket from which I can send emails, film, draw storyboards, take photos, manage my files and edit on the go.”

Storage tech has also expanded the potential of what Evans and his tribe of fellow creators can achieve on the road. Even after the digital age had superseded the analogue baggage of film reels and hard-copy prints, storing hefty digital files still demanded extensive gear – until the advent of high-capacity portable SSD hard drives.

“I used to have to carry around stacks and stacks of hard drives,” says Evans, “because when you’re shooting constantly every day, you accumulate a lot of footage and data.” Along with his core kit, a GoPro, smartphone, drone and DSLR camera, Evans now packs a Samsung portable SSD drive capable of transferring and storing up to a mammoth two terabytes of files. A device like this, almost as little and light as a credit card, can handle an enormous amount of massive 4K videos and an astonishing number of high-resolution photos. Back in the analogue days, this many hard-copy memories would have required a library of bookshelves.

In those days, too, the only way to capture aerial footage was from an aircraft – a serious expense (and sometimes dangerous, too) for any filmmaker, let alone an emerging, independent creator. Now, with drones packing long battery life to keep them aloft for the duration of a tricky sequence, the ‘helicopter view’ no longer requires a helicopter.

Sam Evans says capturing 'helicopter view' no longer requires a helicopter.

Sam Evans says capturing ‘helicopter view’ no longer requires a helicopter.Credit:Instagram

Evans is part of a new creative community with careers driven by technology. Smartphones, combined with social media platforms that are both immediate and vast, have dramatically increased the accessibility of photography and content creation.

“When I left high school I went travelling, and this was when Instagram was just becoming a thing,” Evans recalls. “People were starting to realise the power and potential of social media, and I met people my age who had found a platform where they could express themselves how they wanted and access a receptive audience.”

Evans had enjoyed filmmaking at school, and had won awards for his early efforts there. Inspired, he began again in earnest, posting videos on Instagram that quickly attracted attention from brand marketers. Soon he was being hired by tourism, car and tech companies to shoot on location. It’s now his full-time gig, and he’s constantly on the move.

“For four years, I’ve just been doing what I love, and putting my time and passion and energy into it, and building a career out of it,” he says.

For one so young, Evans has amassed some formidable travel tales; with his exploits ranging from buying a school bus in Mexico and road-tripping in it up to America, to being detained in Paris under suspicion of espionage. And of course, they’re all captured on camera.

“In those situations you’re in the moment and surrounded by people who make you happy and bring out those most creative parts of you,” he says. “That’s what I live for.”



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