Sundance Film Festival Movie Shot Entirely on iPhone

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A Sundance Film Festival movie shot entirely on iPhone received a lot of praise at this year’s edition. Tangerine is a very bold movie that turned out to be a hit at the film festival this year and was shot using only three iPhone 5s smart phones and with the help of the $8 FiLMiC Pro app. However, the footage was shot with the help of external lenses and steadicams.

Sean Baker, the director of the movie, said that this wasn’t only a marketing plan, nor because they were forced to do so because of the low budget the movie had. He claimed that he decided to shoot the movie on iPhones also because this allowed him to film more discretely in public places.

James Ransone, an actor in the movie, said that he was hesitant at first, mostly because of his pride, thinking that it was a step backwards ending up in iPhone shot movies from being in the hit TV show “The Wire”. But the actor eventually saw the potential in filming on the iPhone and said that there were a lot of things that could be done with the help of an iPhone. He gave an example of how Baker shot numerous scenes in the movie by riding his bicycle around the actors, in circle.

The movie makers waited after the preview of the movie to reveal that it was shot entirely on iPhones.

The low budget meant that they could do a movie with a non-commercial theme. Tangerine was described as being a dramedy about the life of a transgender hooker who searches Tinseltown on Christmas Eve for the pimp that broke her heart. A review in Variety said that the movie is a very raw view on one of the more distinctive sex trade subcultures in Los Angeles and that it should be embraced further than the LGBT fest circuit.

Tangerine, however, is not a cornerstone for iPhones being used for professional filming. Apple featured footage of the Burberry London fashion show that was entirely shot on iPhone 5s smartphones in a 30 second ad. And last year, a 90 second ad was also filmed on iPhones to celebrate the anniversary of the Mac.

If you enjoy the movie or not is entirely up to you, but there is no denying that Sean Baker and his team managed to do something very impressive using something as common as a smartphone camera.

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