The feature iPhone film Tangerine premiered at Sundance and was picked up by Magnolia Pictures. I loved how these filmmakers took it upon themselves to not let budget, camera or anyone else get in the way of telling their story. Why couldn’t I make a 4k feature film on my iPhone? So I set out to do just that.
I grabbed my iPhone and decided to make my film, Coming Home.
My idea was for a Christmas release. It was October. So I upgraded my iPhone and ordered the Moondog Lens (that Tangerine used) and an iKan 3X Fly Gimbal (which Tangerine didn’t use). I wrote a script in a month. I spent November casting, location scouting and making friends with people who would lend me locations.
How To Produce An iPhone Film With Inexpensive Gear
We were making a feature iPhone film and doing it at lightning pace. In total, it took two months to shoot and finish the production. Then I spent February in post production, cutting the film together in Premiere.
Along with three assistants on crew, I had produced, directed, shot, lit, and edited my own iPhone film. Some of the actors doubled as assistant producers, script supervisors, wardrobe supervisors. All helped me with scheduling, working on the script, and what we needed to do next.
We went from script to editing in five months. The footage looks great, the audio sounds wonderful and we did this all with the small resources we had. In fact, everything listed below is what we used. But you can always modify to make the whole process more affordable.
This is exactly what gear I used to make my iPhone movie:
- iPhone 6s Plus (use an older iPhone that can supper Filmic Pro that app)
- MoonDog Lens (you can use the native 16×9 HD lens on the camera)
- iKan X3 Fly Gimbal (hand hold, put on a tripod, or get a selfie handle to walk with)
- Sony Shotgun Mic (Use a Rode Shotgun)
- Boom Poll (Use a broom pole, it works the same and just as well.)
- H4N Digital Audio Recorder (Use the roadie and link it right into the iPhone with a mini jack cord)
- MacBook Pro – Use a camera that can edit HD – with whatever you shoot on
- External hard drive (at a wholesale store)
- iPhone headsets (some sort of headsets for your H4N, iPhone, and computer while editing)
If you decide to make your own iPhone film, you’ll benefit from having lighter gear. In past shoots, I had to lug a thousand pounds of gear around to different locations. It took forever and I would go home each night sore. But these days you can use your iPhone and get cinematic results!
What’s your excuse?
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