If you ever wondered how Sean Baker was able to make his film Tangerine look that good on an iPhone 5s, this is the app that did a lot of the leg work.
Making a film with a smartphone used to be considered kind of an amateurish joke, but in this post-Tangerine era, indie filmmakers have become even more cunning and found ways to turn their phones into tiny cinematic powerhouses. One of the tools that really led the way was FiLMiC Pro, an app that allows you to control focus, exposure, and other settings that are important for creating high-quality images. If this has piqued your interest—good—because filmmaker Richard Lackey has shared a tutorial that completely breaks down and explains the app and all of its functions. Check it out below:
Here are all of the things Lackey covers in the video:
- FiLMic Pro Settings Menu
- Resolution, Bitrate & Crop Source to Overlay
- Frame Rate
- Audio Settings
- Exposure and Dynamic Range
- Auto Focus and Exposure
- Calculating Shutter Speed
- Using Neutral Density (ND & IRND) Filters
- Locking Exposure and Focus
- Setting Manual ISO and Shutter Speed
- Manual Focus
- Manual White Balance
- Clip Library
Probably one of the first things you should learn about FiLMiC Pro is its limitations. No, it's not going to magically turn your iPhone into a DSLR, complete with a pro-quality lens and big ol' sensor. Sorry, you're stuck with a fixed lens and tiny sensor.
However, the app does give you a lot more control over your phone's camera—focus, exposure, white balance, variable speed zoom, frame rate (1-240fps)—all of these are customizable. Which is great considering how many would-be filmmakers are out there not making films because they don't believe they have a suitable camera. Well guess what, the "right" camera is the one you have. Period. Use it! Try out apps like FiLMiC Pro to see if it helps you make better films. Try out little smartphone lenses and filters. Do pretty much everything you would think to do if you had a DSLR!