Award winning independent film Tangerine was shot entirely with 3 iPhone 5s cameras using the FiLMIC Pro App. FiLMIC Pro allows for control over focus, aperture and color temperature along with numerous other useful tools.
Director Sean Baker says “Even with a DSLR, we would have ended up having extra crew members, and I would have had to find certain lenses, which I just didn’t have the budget for. So what we did is just start looking at iPhone experiments on Vimeo and we were very impressed by what we found. We realized that, instead of spending money on the equipment, we could put the money on screen on things like locations and having extras.”
Shooting a scene with the iPhone 5s and Steadicam Smoothee.
Photo: Shih-Ching Tsou for the New York Times
In a recent interview, Sean Baker told the BBC his best tips for micro-budget filmmakers:
1. Sound quality. If you’re going to shoot a feature film on an iPhone, take your sound seriously. Don’t skimp on the sound, because that’s the first sign of an amateur.
2. Practice. Find the right tools and apps that will help you accomplish what you want. In the last year and a half, tech has advanced to a point where we don’t need stabilizers any more – they are all built in to the iPhone 6. I’m jealous of anybody who is shooting stuff today.
3. Take it seriously. Accept it and embrace it and find the benefits that can come from it. I’m sure there are millions of benefits that we didn’t even find on our 23 days of filming in 2014. People can use this as tool to experiment and to find different ways of telling stories.
Instead of using “dolly shots” – with a camera moving on a track – Baker filmed street scenes while riding his bicycle. They used a a Steadicam hand-held support called the Smoothee ($136.99) to stabilize the shots and an anamorphic lens adapter ($160) from Moondog Labs to achieve the widescreen look. Just goes to show how you can create amazing video without crazy expensive equipment! See the Tangerine trailer above and if you’re looking for more, here’s another great interview with the director.
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