After Tangerine premiered at Sundance 2015, everybody and their mom was wondering how director Sean Baker managed to make a film shot entirely on an iPhone 5s look so damn good. As they soon found out, he got a little help from the FiLMiC Pro app, which is designed to give shooters more control over their smartphone cameras' settings, like frame rate, resolution, and shutter speed.
But even though FiLMiC Pro has helped filmmakers utilize their smartphones in new, more effective ways, they have set their sights on giving them more options and latitude once they head into post by including a Log/Flat picture profile in their upcoming update, a feature that is usually only found in more expensive, high-end cameras to give filmmakers and colorists more control over their color grade.
The newly updated version of FiLMiC Pro is currently out as a limited beta, and one of the filmmakers who managed to get their hands on it was Italian cinematographer Matteo Bertoli. Currently based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bertoli made a short video that shows you just how beautiful shooting Log on your iPhone 7 can be.
An app that gives your smartphone the ability to shoot Log, that is a flat image with low saturation, contrast, and sharpness, is going to make it much easier for filmmakers to retain details in shadows and highlights, which is always a problem when shooting with your phone's camera. That lack of latitude is one of the reasons why many believed making a film with your smartphone was a complete joke
Bertoli talked about this, as well as the rest of his experience with the updated app in a blog post over at PetaPixel:
This will open up a lot of possibilities in post production for more creative color grading, but again, the biggest advantage is that we’ll be able to capture those details in the shadows and in the highlights that would otherwise be lost.
...this is a very interesting feature to have on the smartphone in our pocket, and one that will allow indie filmmakers to achieve much more amazing results.
It'll be interesting to see what comes out of this new FiLMiC Pro update. The app was satisfying so many filmmakers before, surely more will decide to beef up their smartphones once they catch wind that they can shoot Log.
If you're interested, you can download the ungraded file of Bertoli's video here—take it for a spin in post and see how it grades!