We’ve all heard stories about how some famous directors got their start. Coming from humble beginnings, they maxed out their credit cards to pay for a single camera, some film and a few modest sets, getting friends and family to serve as cast and crew. Imagine what some of these young cinematographers could have done if they had access to today’s technology.
Thanks to the amazing video capabilities of iPhones, anyone who has an iPhone today can be a filmmaker, and iPhone filmmaking is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. There are even iPhone film festivals for those who are serious about tackling iPhone cinematography.
There’s the Original iPhone Film Festival, sponsored by iPhoneFilmmaker.com, iPhone’s website for all things related to filming with iPhones, iPads and the like. Then, there’s iPhone Film Festival, sponsored by FilmFreeway.com, which has been supporting mobile filmmakers since 2010. All that is required of your submission is a movie shot on an iPhone for at least half of the film. Using accessories such as tripods, wide angle lenses, lights or external microphones is fine, and you can use any editing software. As long as your movie is at least half iPhone video, you’re eligible. Many entrants submit films that are entirely shot on iPhone.
iPhone Filmmaking and You
You don’t have to be a contest-worthy filmmaker for iPhone filmmaking, however. What’s great about it is that there’s no barrier to entry beyond possessing an iPhone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much filmmaking experience you have or how much money you have. Anyone can write a script, press that record button and go. You can even download great editing apps now that allow you to edit your iPhone film smoothly and easily, even if you’re a novice.
Your first movie shot on iPhone probably won’t be an Oscar-Worthy masterpiece, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s likely that the more you practice, the better you’ll get. With every iPhone movie you make, you’ll get a better sense of your iPhone’s video capabilities, what works and what doesn’t, how to frame certain shots, how lighting affects your film, what angles work best, etc. You can put yourself through a mini-film school just by trying things out and seeing what works.
Again, this is an opportunity that young, aspiring filmmakers of the past would have killed for — and once those folks made their films, they had to worry about distribution. That’s not an issue in today’s glorious world of technology, either. Once you have an iPhone film you’re happy with, you can upload it to YouTube and get feedback. And who knows? If the feedback is good enough, you just might end up submitting it to an iPhone film festival after all.