Episode 108

(11 Mar, 2011)

Matt Singer: iPhone Filmmaking

Transcript for Matt Singer: iPhone Filmmaking

Next up is our contributor Matt Singer describing exactly what can be done with one of those iPhones.

Introduced just four years ago, the iPhone is already a major part of modern life.  We see them everywhere and they take great snapshots and personal videos, but could you use an iPhone to shoot an entire movie?

A major South Korean director think you can. In fact he has.  Park Chan-wook’s Night Fishing is an eerie, atmospheric journey into the afterlife.  And the whole thing was shot on an iPhone.

Park's a well-established director.  Among his credits is the great thriller “Old Boy”  So the question then becomes -- why, if you could shoot a film on something that looks like that -- would you willingly use one of these?  In Park's case the answer is simple: a Korean cell phone company gave him $130,000 to promote the iPhone by using it to make a movie.  But while Park may be the first professional iPhone filmmaker, more and more directors are making movies with equipment you can buy at your local electronics store.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor used off-the-shelf hi-def camcorders to give their 2009 film "Crank: High Voltage" the raw, frenetic energy of an underground skate video.  Director Lena Dunham shot her film "Tiny Furniture" on the Canon EOS 7D, a still camera that retails for around $1500.  That small camera was ideal for shooting in the film's cramped New York locations.  It’s crisp, bright images helped win the film an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Cinematography.

"Night Fishing" doesn't have a US distributor or release date yet, but I suspect it'll be coming to theaters -- or at least to the iPhone -- in the near future.  Before you quitting your day job to become a full-time iPhone filmmaker though, you should know that Park Chan-wook still needed $130,000 worth of professional lighting equipment to make "Night Fishing" look so good.  He probably also sprung for a tripod too.  Still, there are some advantages  to shooting on an iPhone.  Maybe the biggest one of all is the fact that no matter where you go…

(Matt is cut off and is replaced on iPhone screen by an incoming call)

Hello.  What’s up I’m not doing anything.  Alright, maybe there are some disadvantages to shooting on an iPhone.

That was impressive.  I have a Droid.  I take photos of my kid on y Droid and text and that’s about it, so to be able to make an entire movie on an iPhone…I am wowed.