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How one of the best films at Sundance was shot using an iPhone 5S

The title of this article is gimmicky at best – but the real story of Sean Baker’s Tangerine isn’t about being a gimmick – it’s about telling your story no matter what. The big take away in Baker’s words: ”You can make a beautiful-looking film on a shoestring budget, but you have to know 100 years worth of filmmaking.”

Tangerine

Tangerine, a breakout hit from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is full of surprises. There’s the subject matter: transgender prostitutes working in a not-so glamorous part of Hollywood. And there are the characters: flinty, funny, nobody’s victim. But the story behind the camera is as surprising as what’s in front of it. Particularly because the camera used to shoot Tangerine was the iPhone 5S.

Plenty of amateur films have been shot using iPhones, but by all reports, this is the first movie at the Sundance Film Festival to be shot almost entirely on an Apple device. It was a decision that indie writer and director Sean Baker made to accommodate the film’s small budget. But you’d never guess the camera, to look at it: Tangerine was shot in a widescreen, 2:35:1 aspect ratio, and its camera zooms through the streets of LA with a fluidity you’d never expect from a handheld device. And yet despite his camera of choice, Baker says the iPhone made for a good partner. “It was surprisingly easy,” Baker says. “We never lost any footage.”

So how do you make a Sundance movie for iPhone? You need four things. First, of course, the iPhone (Baker and his team used three). Second, an $8 app called Filmic Prothat allowed the filmmakers fine-grained control over the focus, aperture, and color temperature. Third, a Steadicam. “These phones, because they’re so light, and they’re so small, a human hand — no matter how stable you are — it will shake. And it won’t look good,” says Baker. “So you needed the Steadicam rig to stabilize it.”

The Verge | Read the Full Article

How to Be a Good Director, According to an Editor

Julien Chichignoud explains what is good production from an editor’s standpoint.

Peter Jackson

ASSEMBLE YOUR TEAM: Get an Editor

I tend to think that my role is important on a film. Regardless of how well you know Final Cut, Avid, Premiere or iMovie, get someone else to edit. After several days on set trying to get the imagery and the performances you had planned in your head, and after reviewing the dailies each night, beating yourself up for what you could have done better, you can be assured that you will hate your footage – or even worse, you will be in love with it. You need someone with no emotional attachment to what they are cutting. You need to keep your distance and start looking at the film the way the audience would, which is not going to happen if you spend weeks looking back through every take, and trimming every cut.

Remember that shot you spent 10 hours setting up, for which you had to hire a helicopter? Well, it’s crap. Or maybe it’s great, but if it’s not, you need someone to tell you it’s crap without caring about how much or how long you spent on it. You love that shot where the actor looks through the window thinking about his dead sister. The performance is great, right? Except nobody aside from you and the actor knows that he’s thinking about his dead sister. Having an editor on board gives you someone to take the audience’s fresh point of view.

Video and Filmmaker | Read the Full Article

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