The Art of Making Films on Smartphones (and Convincing Yourself It's Okay to Do So)
Making films with a smartphone is not as crazy of an idea as it used to be.
If you've ever wanted to make a film with your smartphone, you're not alone. Despite it being considered a tool for "unprofessional" and "inexperienced" filmmakers, devices like the iPhone have not only proven their mettle in a number of well-made films but they've made it into the hands of some pretty notable directors, like Park Chan Wook, Michael Gondry, and Steven Soderbergh.
Fandor takes a look at some of the latest rumblings in smartphone filmmaking in the video below and also shows you a few ways to make your own smartphone films a whole lot more cinematic.
Is the iPhone or any other smartphone going to replace a cinema camera or DSLR? No. Advocates and fans of smartphone filmmaking don't even believe that, but instead believe that great cinema depends on the capabilities of the filmmaker, not the capabilities of a camera. If you're completely broke and want to make a film and the only camera you have is the one on your phone, Sean Baker has proven that as long as you have the creative ability (and maybe some luck), you can make a film on it that explodes at Sundance.
Keep in mind, though, that these films utilized a number of add-ons, accessories, and apps that you'll probably need in order to get the cinematic look. Things like handheld stabilizers, smartphone lenses, and FiLMiC Pro, an app that gives you a lot more control over the camera settings on your phone are definitely worth taking a look at. But the most important elements of your film, more so than any app or lens, are going to be story, sound, and composition—in that order. Nail those and no one will know or care that it was shot on the thing you use to find dates and play Candy Crush.