Cinematography : What are all the components needed for making the Iphone work to film a movie? by Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

What are all the components needed for making the Iphone work to film a movie?

I realize there are more traditional choices. But at this point I need a very, very cost effective option. If you have the item by item cost (approx.) that would also help. Thank you.

JD Hartman

How many features that were shot on an Iphone have been sold, distributed and were a success in the box office and secondary markets? Don't shoot yourself in the foot by limiting yourself technology and image quality wise in pursuit of low cost. And yes....before anyone jumps in, I realize that the camera is but one in series of decisions, none of which alone guarantee a success product.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

One that I know of. "Tangerine" premiere at SUNDANCE last year. Sold and distributed on NETFLIX. I am going to do this. If you know what I need great. If not that's okay. ALL feedback I get from my fellow "Stage 32 members is helpful.

JD Hartman

Maybe the DP you hire for your feature should be allowed to pick the best camera for the project that fits the budget. Sound logic, no?

Brian Mills

Steven, the DP that shot Tangerine regularly works in TV, as in, 100% working Hollywood pro. They shot that film on the phone to say they did and get buzz (although I have not seen it, I hear it is a pretty good film btw). They also "cheated" by using pro lenses on the phone using an adaptor, it was NOT shot as is. If you need to shoot a film on the cheap, go to Craigslist and get a used Canon T3i with a zoom lens and install Magic Lantern. You will get results WAY better for only a few hundred dollars.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Brian- I know the ro lens they used it was a "Moon dog lens" adaptor which gives it the 1:33 aspect ratio and widescreen abilities. So nobody cheated. I (as you can see) have already done some research on this. I know I am not just going to pull an Iphone out of my pocket and start shooting. I am sorry you got that impression. I know sooner or later the fellow Stage 32 member that give me the detailed list of what I need (both software and hardware attachments) will see this thread and give me the information again. It is really my fault I did not copy down the info the first time. Thanks.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

The DP (Giovanni Ferlito) who IS working on the film "Hope Saves Manhattan".has his own camera equipment. This I phone camera package is for another project that we are also working on where costs have to be much tighter. And we are doing this short film first before we do the feature HSM

Brian Mills

Steven, I honestly cannot see ONE upside to shooting on an iphone if you have a DP lined up that already has his own camera equipment. Besides the cost of the gear, on a low/no budget film, time is money and your DP will be able to work much faster on a dedicated video camera (or even a DSLR) vs a phone. Faster workflow = money saved. And yes, I do believe Tangerine "cheated" by using adaptors, because they received a TON of publicity for the simple fact that the film was shot on a phone, which captured the public's attention, but only some trade publications bothered to make the distinction that it was shot on a modified setup, using a Hollywood DP and with proper gaffer/grip support. The second film shot on an iphone (or third, etc) will not receive any extra attention. At this point I would recommend shooting on a different camera no one has ever used, like a Prius backup camera, if that is what you are trying to replicate. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU7XWTpRwDo) I am honestly just trying to give friendly, professional advice: use phones for phone calls, use cameras for movies.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Brian- Okay

JD Hartman

@Brian Mills I thought the whole short shot on a backup camera was a sham, a spoof?

Brian Mills

JD: It is a spoof, I was just being cheeky. Steven: I always support anyone trying to produce anything on their own, (it takes moxie!), and so I truly wish you the best of success on your film. I cannot be of any help in the iphone support department, but if you have any other gear related questions, please hit me up!

Chris Le Roy

Steven, I am doing two experimental short films on the Samsung Galaxy using the 4K settings, simply to see how good they turn out. One of the kit I am using is the Cinematic Smart phone adapter which you can buy for about $180 USD. It comes with three lens which you can use for an extra wide shot and really close up shots. It also come with a site tool for getting it level. I like it because it has handles that you can use for doing shots where you want some shake to show working and maybe an edge seen. It is mountable on normal tripods etc. The lens they used for the Iphone for Tangerine was actually an anamorphic lens from Moon Dog Labs and cost $100 as far as I am aware. Anyways that's been my experience with it, its been really interesting using a smart phone to try and get good shots, but it is definitely do-able. The big thing is though the software. The phones have pretty much all the functionality of the normal cameras, you just have to have the right app. Everyone on the Apple seems to rave about FilmicPro but on the Samsung Galaxy, we have been using Cinema FV-5 and I have also trial Open Camera, but Cinema FV-5 has been great. Just thought I would share....

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Chris- Really appreciate the knowledge you just provided. I had most of my research done on the Iphone camera package. However this is news that similar results can be gotten with a Samsung Galaxy. I am taking a page out of Dov S-S Simmons No Film School by going with his Step by Step method to shoot,edit and produce a 90 page script for $5000. The key to it is one location, all interiors, no A listers, no crowd scenes or SFX. And as a screenwriter it falls on me to come up with an engaging story with compelling characters. All the scripts I have written since I started writing in August of 2014 have NONE of these ELEMENTS. So getting all the equipment costs down is very important. I was going to focus in on a Family in a House. Or a restaurant or any kind of store. Coming up with story and character arcs I can do. But almost all my scripted work as been in the Comedy, Sci-Fi or animation genres. So this is going to be a challenge. But If you look at my Profile Page and see my family history and where I live I do have some connections and resources I can call on. My (2) biggest obstacles are my age(64) and finding the $$. But I will make it happen. Thank you for sharing. SHA

Chris Le Roy

Steven, make sure that you record sound both on the phone and independently and use a slate to match the two. I find the iphones and smartphones are shit with audio direct. That was the other thing I meant to say. If you are trying to save money then I would also go with the Adobe Creative Cloud and use Adobe Premiere, its been awesome and been cost effective cause its subscription. Oh and as for the age... know your pain... do this at 43 I thought was a challenge but you give me inspiration with you being 64... good luck with it!

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Thanks Chris we all give each other experience, strength and hope. That is what Stage 32 is all about. The greatest creative fellowship created since the Bard had the gang over for Mutton and Ale to talk shop. Amen.

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