Oscar-Winning, Partly iPhone-Shot 'Searching for Sugar Man' Proves Content is King
It’s far too easy to get caught up in the technological aspects of filmmaking, whether it be with new cameras, lenses, NLEs, or anything else. Focusing on gear is easy when something new comes out practically every day, but all of this technology is in place for the purpose of helping us tell better stories. What better way to remind ourselves of this than to see a great story made with what is widely considered to be “less than adequate” equipment? Such is the case with Searching for Sugar Man, the Academy Award winner for Best Feature Documentary at this year’s Oscars, part of which was shot on, as you might have already guessed, an iPhone. Check out the trailer for this fascinating film below:
And here is a piece from CNN which describes how an iPhone was used to shoot portions of the film (thanks to cinema5D for the heads-up):
While only a few pickups from ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ were actually shot on an iPhone with the 8mm Vintage Camera app (most of the film was shot on Super 8mm film), the fact that these scenes blended right in and didn’t detract from the story in the slightest is telling. Newer technologies are great, and they help push the industry forward (and they’re fun to argue about), but in the end, it always comes down to telling engaging stories, and utilizing whatever you have at your disposal.
Even though it was used to fake the real thing, plenty of people are taking advantage of the 8mm app to produce all sorts of interesting looks. Here are a couple of music videos shot using the app:
What do you guys think? Have you seen Searching for Sugar Man? What do you think about mixing cameras within your films, assuming the situation calls for it?