Whether it’s done for publicity to raise awareness or to save money during production, the iPhone can be used to replace professional cameras and even to shoot entire movies. That’s a point Apple made a while ago by using iOS devices to record entire commercials. Filmmakers listened, and earlier this year news broke that Sundance hit Tangerine was filmed using only iPhones and some key camera accessories.
The best part about it is that the film was recorded using the iPhone 5s, Apple’s 2013 flagship handset whose camera performance was the best Apple could offer two years ago. However, since then Apple has further improved its camera tech, so I can’t wait to see an Oscar-worthy movie shot entirely on the newer iPhones. (Yes, a movie partially shot on iPhone did win an Oscar in 2013 — the Searching for Sugar Man documentary — but only because the director ran out of money while shooting it.)
Since Sundance, Tangerine saw a limited U.S. release this summer, CNET reports, and the movie can now be seen at the London Film Festival. Furthermore, Tangerine will premiere in Great Britain on November 13th. Having not seen the movie myself, I can only relay the message CNET’s review is sending – that Sean Baker (writer and director) and Chris Bergoch (writer) did a spectacular job with the three iPhone 5s units they had on hand.
They paired the devices with Moondog anamorphic adapters for widescreen images and used a Tiffen Steadicam Smoothee mount for smooth camera movements. The FiLMIC Pro video app was used to control focus and aperture manually.
“The results are nothing short of stunning,” the tech site wrote.
“The most immediately obvious way in which the look of the film is dictated by the use of a smartphone is the fixed depth-of-field of the iPhone’s camera,” CNET added. “Rather than artfully blurring the background, the camera records everything. Not just the characters in the foreground, but the passers-by in the background too. The passing cars. The signs, the billboards, the stickers on the window. They’re all in focus and in detail.”
If all this could be done with an iPhone 5s on a limited budget, imagine what creative filmmakers will be able to do with the iPhone 6s that just launched – and especially the iPhone 6s Plus – considering all the major camera advancements Apple has introduced since 2013.
CNET’s review of Tangerine is available at the source link, and you’ll find the movie’s 2:20 trailer embedded below.