How To Produce An iPhone Film With Inexpensive Gear

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.

iphone film

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:

If you decide to make your own iPhone film, you’ll benefit from having lighter gear. I had to lug a thousand pounds of gear in past shoots 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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Layne McDonald has been a film and television editor since 1998. He currently makes films that raise awareness for social causes and funds for families in need. He specializes in $1000 – $5000 feature films. Learn more about Layne McDonald here.

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