Do you want to make a Hollywood-worthy movie? As an aspiring filmmaker, for a school project, or just for fun with your friends? One of the thorniest problems in filmmaking is money. You need money for your shooting locations, your props, and most importantly, your filming equipment.
However, there is a way to significantly reduce filming costs without compromising on the quality. That is, by using your iPhone.
Don’t underestimate the value of iPhones. These few years, there were several iPhone-shot movies released in cinemas, and they were nothing but amazing. The latest addition is the 2018 American psychological horror film, Unsane, directed by Steven Soderbergh. The movie grossed $12.4 million in the box office from the original budget of $1.5 million.
What to Prepare
Make sure your shooting site is secured and free from disturbance. If you are shooting in a public place, it is best if you make hand signs. Unlike when filming using cameras, some people might not notice you’re shooting a movie when they see you with just an iPhone. It is better to prevent these kinds of disturbances.
Check if your phone has enough memory and turn off notifications. Nothing can be worse than filming a good scene but suddenly being interrupted by a sudden notification sound from your device.
An iPhone and a tripod are all you need and you’re good to go. But if you are aspiring for a blockbuster like Soderbergh, you will need other usual filming equipment like handheld stabilization device, panheads, and slates and only—they should be smaller in mini versions so they can complement with your iPhone.
Using an iPhone may also cause the movie to have some disturbing noise in the background. That can be solved by using a simple microphone. You can use a microphone that can be plugged into your iPhone’s headphone plug.
Assuring Video Quality
The quality of iPhone cameras but if you want something high-definition, you need to install appropriate camera apps. The built-in iPhone camera app lacks crucial controls and limits the resolution of the video to keep the file size down. Among the apps used for capturing videos, the best one is FiLMiC Pro. Most moviemakers’ use this app. It basically turns your camera to a mini-DSLR and raises the video quality.
Another way to ensure video quality is through proper lighting. There are ways to toggle the exposure in using the camera app but that’s not a recommended solution. It might make the scenes look unnatural and when you start to link videos, each clip might have different tones. It is better to create a simple lighting setup, especially when filming indoors.
To fine-tune your shots, the best way is to transfer your film to Mac for post-production with the use of video editing software like Adobe Premiere. But if you think that is too troublesome, you can opt to use your phone’s iMovie app. It can let you trim and combine videos, write captions, add sound, and adjust the filters of your videos.
Even an amateur like you can make a quality film with just an iPhone. If there is a benefit of creating movies through phones aside from saving money, then, it is as Director Sean Baker of the award-winning iPhone film, Tangerine, said. It is best in taking candid shots especially when the actors are nonprofessional. Most people tend to act unnaturally in front of large cameras, however, with phones, they can lower their inhibitions making the film more natural.