PDA

View Full Version : Director Ran Out of Money, Finished Shooting his Oscar-Nominated Movie on an iPhone




MacRumors
Feb 19, 2013, 08:06 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/19/director-ran-out-of-money-finished-shooting-his-oscar-nominated-movie-on-an-iphone/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/02/541444_larger.pngWhile filming Oscar-nominated documentary "Searching for Sugar Man", director Malik Bendjelloul said, in an interview with CNN Money (http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2013/02/19/t-iphone-app-oscar-film.cnnmoney), that he ran out of money and had to finish filming his movie on his iPhone with the 8mm Vintage Camera app (http://appshopper.com/photography/8mm-vintage-camera).I started shooting this on a Super 8 camera, like with film, which is pretty expensive stuff, and completely ran out of money. I really had a very few stuff, it was a very few shots left but I needed those shots. And one day I realized that there was this $1 app here on my iPhone and I tried it and it was basically the same as the real stuff.
In the past there have been other directors, like Oldboy director Park Chan-wook (http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/01/10/park-chan-wook-iphone-movie/), who've used iPhones to shoot films.*There's even an iPhone Film Festival (http://www.iphoneff.com/) dedicated to movies shot on the devices, but Bendjelloul's film has since been nominated for an Academy Award.

Nexvio Inc.'s 8mm Vintage Camera app has seen an increase in downloads in the past five or so days, according to a chart from sister-site AppShopper (http://appshopper.com/photography/8mm-vintage-camera). The app has gone through a couple different price drops over the past year and a half, which is why Bendjelloul refers to the app as a "$1 app," but is currently available for $1.99. [Direct Link (http://appshopper.com/photography/8mm-vintage-camera)]

The 85th annual Academy Awards (http://oscar.go.com/nominees) will air on February 24th, 2013.

Article Link: Director Ran Out of Money, Finished Shooting his Oscar-Nominated Movie on an iPhone (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/19/director-ran-out-of-money-finished-shooting-his-oscar-nominated-movie-on-an-iphone/)



camnchar
Feb 19, 2013, 08:10 PM
That is quite possibly the coolest iPhone related story I've ever read.

12dylan34
Feb 19, 2013, 08:14 PM
Pretty cool. Hopefully he didn't need any low-light shots, though.

iapplelove
Feb 19, 2013, 08:14 PM
That is quite possibly the coolest iPhone related story I've ever read.

i have owned the app for well over a year now,it really does have a pretty nice feel.

Macrolido
Feb 19, 2013, 08:30 PM
Hopefully I could do the same with my iPod touch.

lolkthxbai
Feb 19, 2013, 08:36 PM
If the movie wins, i can only imagine what that would do for the iPhone and the app.

Spetsnazos
Feb 19, 2013, 08:56 PM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

HMI
Feb 19, 2013, 08:58 PM
Producers don't like hearing that their directors "ran out of money."

.Asa
Feb 19, 2013, 09:12 PM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

My iPad 3's camera totally blows away my Panasonic lumix in terms of picture quality, and I assume an iPhone 5 is similar or better.

SvenSvenson
Feb 19, 2013, 09:12 PM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

Or he could've used the money that he would have spent on a camera to buy more 8mm film. Oh, wait...

Seriously - what's happening to people's comprehension skills? These sort of comments are far too frequent.

dfnj123
Feb 19, 2013, 09:33 PM
He couldn't have finished the movie on his iPhone 5 if the device hadn't even been announced yet when the movie came out in July 2012... just pointing out that someone should correct the article :p

Amazing Iceman
Feb 19, 2013, 09:36 PM
He could have filmed the whole movie with his iPhone using this app, or with any consumer digital videocamera with a decent lens and then apply similar 8mm filter during the editing process, saving a ton of money.

In the end, what makes a movie succeed is its content, not necessarily the equipment used to make the movie. Still, the iPhone camera was apparently very suitable for the job.

claywelch
Feb 19, 2013, 09:36 PM
He couldn't have finished the movie on his iPhone 5 if the device hadn't even been announced yet when the movie came out in July 2012... just pointing out that someone should correct the article :p

I'm glad someone else caught this. The film was released at Sundance LAST year, so it barely would even have been filmed on a 4S either.

arn
Feb 19, 2013, 09:39 PM
I'm glad someone else caught this. The film was released at Sundance LAST year, so it barely would even have been filmed on a 4S either.

I changed it to iPhone, since we aren't sure exactly which model.

arn

Amazing Iceman
Feb 19, 2013, 09:41 PM
My iPad 3's camera totally blows away my Panasonic lumix in terms of picture quality, and I assume an iPhone 5 is similar or better.

I do notice that the only problem with the iPad 3 camera (and probably other versions) is the glare on the lens when there is a light source nearby in front of the lens. This can be easily solved with anything that would block direct light directly into the lens. Also, if there's not enough light, the image becomes grainy (even with normal indoor light).
Do you use the native camera app or a third-party app?

mrsir2009
Feb 19, 2013, 09:48 PM
My iPad 3's camera totally blows away my Panasonic lumix in terms of picture quality, and I assume an iPhone 5 is similar or better.

Wb when low light conditions and zoom come into the picture?

marc11
Feb 19, 2013, 09:52 PM
While the story is cool, unless his Oscar relates to the quality of the filming itsn't it a bit pointless to mention it is Oscar nominated? I mean, if the film wins for best screenplay or best supporting actor, it doesn't really matter on what device the film was shot on...does it?

Still a really cool story, wonder if he used FCPX to edit it ;)

ThunderSkunk
Feb 19, 2013, 10:09 PM
Wb when low light conditions and zoom come into the picture?

No sweat, we'll get it in post.

[ahem] [cough] [wheeze]

Radio
Feb 19, 2013, 10:12 PM
Surely you can't be serious ?

ctdonath
Feb 19, 2013, 10:14 PM
I mean, if the film wins for best screenplay or best supporting actor, it doesn't really matter on what device the film was shot on...does it?
That the device+app is good enough that it didn't detract from whatever it's nominated for is a very good indication of realistic quality.

DipDog3
Feb 19, 2013, 10:26 PM
Could we get a [Direct Link] to the actual app??

marc11
Feb 19, 2013, 10:28 PM
That the device+app is good enough that it didn't detract from whatever it's nominated for is a very good indication of realistic quality.

Fair enough and agreed. But the title of this article makes is sound as if he was nominated for a cinematography award.

HoopTrundler
Feb 19, 2013, 10:40 PM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

Did you read the article?

inscrewtable
Feb 19, 2013, 10:42 PM
Hopefully I could do the same with my iPod touch.

Even though the iphone has an 8mp camer and the touch a 5mp camera don't they shoot the same 30 fps 1080p video quality?

Just bought the app and it looks very nice well worth $2

fiddle
Feb 19, 2013, 11:18 PM
"I realized that there was this $1 app here on my iPhone and I tried it and it was basically the same as the real stuff."

really..... a tiny, 8mp sensor is basically the same as 8mm film...

More amazing than this guy using the iphone to finish the movie, is that he also seems to be blind..
:cool:

Akuratyde
Feb 19, 2013, 11:21 PM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

He ran out of money for film. This is explained in the very article you're commenting on.

Small White Car
Feb 19, 2013, 11:49 PM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

Say what?

What "point and shoot" is "a million times" better than an iPhone for video?

Yeah, they're better in low light, but if you're lighting correctly (which I'd assume he was doing) then I'd say that the iPhone and the point and shoot are extremely similar when it comes to video recording.

The next step up would be to get something with a better lens. Like, if you'd said "couldn't he borrow a DSLR from anyone?" then that might have been a good question. But you pretty much picked the exact other thing that makes video similar to an iPhone for your example.

notjustjay
Feb 20, 2013, 12:01 AM
"I realized that there was this $1 app here on my iPhone and I tried it and it was basically the same as the real stuff."

really..... a tiny, 8mp sensor is basically the same as 8mm film...

More amazing than this guy using the iphone to finish the movie, is that he also seems to be blind..
:cool:

Well, I got the impression from the news clip that he was mainly looking for B-roll by the time he was using the iPhone, and he wanted it to look "old" and low-grade, even intentionally shooting a video being played off his computer screen "for that 70's look". So he clearly wasn't aiming for "good looking" film quality.

iMikeT
Feb 20, 2013, 12:25 AM
He should have just filmed it with the iPhone from the beginning and save himself the money in film and processing. Live and learn I guess.

robert05au
Feb 20, 2013, 01:57 AM
In the video it looks like he is holding up a iphone 3gs as it shows a silver edge which looks rounded like the 3gs was

theanimaster
Feb 20, 2013, 02:53 AM
I've met many people that were so uncomfortable with new technology that they simply REFUSED to use it, even if it were craploads better than what they were familiar with.

Some old tech is still needed to get a certain flavour or effect, but seriously. We're talking people who will refuse to use a 12MP digital SLR because they swear their ol' 3.5mm film camera is MUCH better than "those darn automatic ones" (remember we're talking digital __SLR___ here). They could have made that case a decade ago when digital SLRs were just too expensive and at crappy resolutions less than 2MP... but wake up people. Embrace technology. It ain't as hard as, say, learning how to run computer software was thirty years ago!!

Then again, I could be wrong.

A couple years ago I made a brochure for our school and against my own 'rules' there was one picture I had that was NOT up to the standards I usually set. It was taken with a Sony Ericsson k750i. I did my best to colour-correct it and make sure it was 'print worthy' enough but on my mac it looked as though it'd surely print out like crap -- as it did in the test prints (on a standard office printer). On the offset prints however -- it turned out really crisp -- and thanks to the colour corrections, you wouldn't have known it was from a 'crappy' (by today's standards) phone!!

tekno
Feb 20, 2013, 02:55 AM
If the movie wins, i can only imagine what that would do for the iPhone and the app.

Yes, because clearly the Oscar would have been won squarely on the quality of the iPhone's camera.

izniznot
Feb 20, 2013, 02:57 AM
He couldn't have finished the movie on his iPhone 5 if the device hadn't even been announced yet when the movie came out in July 2012... just pointing out that someone should correct the article :p

I guessed I missed a reference to an iPhone "5" either in the video or on the page (used Find command). I only heard or read "iPhone." Couldn't find the app "8mm vintage camera" in the app store to check if it requires iPhone 5. Oh well.

And I agree, the award isn't for cinematography, but simply for "Best Documentary." When they start handing out awards for best "iPhone" anything, then it will matter.

It was a great film either way and I don't care much which Iphone he used. Couldn't find the app "8mm vintage camera" in the app store to check if it requires iPhone 5.

Mr. Retrofire
Feb 20, 2013, 03:26 AM
That is quite possibly the coolest iPhone related story I've ever read.
Deception at best.

arashb
Feb 20, 2013, 03:30 AM
Seems like a lot of people missed the idea... good job to the director, I liked how he recorded off the recording to give a more realistic vintage look rather than just adding a vintage effect on the computer.

I've met many people that were so uncomfortable with new technology that they simply REFUSED to use it, even if it were craploads better than what they were familiar with.

Some old tech is still needed to get a certain flavour or effect, but seriously. We're talking people who will refuse to use a 12MP digital SLR because they swear their ol' 3.5mm film camera is MUCH better than "those darn automatic ones" (remember we're talking digital __SLR___ here). They could have made that case a decade ago when digital SLRs were just too expensive and at crappy resolutions less than 2MP... but wake up people. Embrace technology. It ain't as hard as, say, learning how to run computer software was thirty years ago!!

Then again, I could be wrong.


I use a dSLR but give me an old leica or contax film rangefinder and I'll gladly trade any day. Megapixels mean nothing in SLRs....

Mr. Retrofire
Feb 20, 2013, 03:33 AM
Even though the iphone has an 8mp camer and the touch a 5mp camera don't they shoot the same 30 fps 1080p video quality?
30 fps and 1080p do not guarantee “video quality”. You should know that.

szw-mapple fan
Feb 20, 2013, 05:09 AM
Could we get a [Direct Link] to the actual app??

Have you ever heard this thing called google?

----------

I guessed I missed a reference to an iPhone "5" either in the video or on the page (used Find command). I only heard or read "iPhone." Couldn't find the app "8mm vintage camera" in the app store to check if it requires iPhone 5. Oh well.

And I agree, the award isn't for cinematography, but simply for "Best Documentary." When they start handing out awards for best "iPhone" anything, then it will matter.

It was a great film either way and I don't care much which Iphone he used. Couldn't find the app "8mm vintage camera" in the app store to check if it requires iPhone 5.

macrumors removed the "5" from the article. see comments page 1.;)

iBug2
Feb 20, 2013, 05:19 AM
"I realized that there was this $1 app here on my iPhone and I tried it and it was basically the same as the real stuff."

really..... a tiny, 8mp sensor is basically the same as 8mm film...

More amazing than this guy using the iphone to finish the movie, is that he also seems to be blind..
:cool:

Resolution wise 8mm is usually scanned at 1280X960, so the iPhone 4S's resolution is a bit higher than 8mm. But of course film will look better than an iPhone 4S footage. But still the quality of the iPhone was "enough" to fill in the missing shots. Meaning it doesn't detract from the experience, not that it's the "same" as 8mm.

designs216
Feb 20, 2013, 05:32 AM
The overall effect might work well in the movie and could explain the shaky cam/bad lighting we from many other filmmakers who serve it up without commentary.

paulrbeers
Feb 20, 2013, 07:39 AM
The overall effect might work well in the movie and could explain the shaky cam/bad lighting we from many other filmmakers who serve it up without commentary.

J.J. Abrams I'm looking at you..... Oh wait, he uses expensive "normal" movie cameras and gives them an iPhone like feel. :eek:

jclardy
Feb 20, 2013, 07:45 AM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

If he bought a P&S he would have had to do the retro effect in post...Most of these shots were probably just 3-4 seconds max so the viewer won't be able to tell the difference when watching the film.

androidphone
Feb 20, 2013, 07:50 AM
i think it's not gonna be the same quality with an iphone

ctdonath
Feb 20, 2013, 08:49 AM
really..... a tiny, 8mp sensor is basically the same as 8mm film...
It's a pretty darned good sensor. 8mm film delivers the equivalent of 700 lines resolution, so a 720p or 1080p can match it. Color depth is pretty good too. 8mm film might be better, but both are close enough that most viewers would not notice the difference short of a side-by-side comparison focusing on quality differences.

It's not so much the resolution & color depth at issue, it's the "feel" characteristic of typical 8mm systems (camera, film, processing, editing, transfer...), the little color degradations and scratches and jumps, which viewers will be far more sensitive to. Seems this app recreates that feel well enough that a transition between film and digital will go unnoticed by most of the audience.

I'm sure the director could discern the difference. I'm sure he also knows whether his audience would. A subtle shift in visuals is far less an issue than not getting shots critical to completing the movie.

harrisondavies
Feb 20, 2013, 08:52 AM
More than possible with this how to: http://youtu.be/Ptz_ybNRavg

http://youtu.be/I-KrhgwtXLg -Short film

ctdonath
Feb 20, 2013, 09:03 AM
clearly the Oscar would have been won squarely on the quality of the iPhone's camera.
Of course not.
The point is that the iPhone's camera is good enough that, at worst, it doesn't detract from the movie. That is, in fact, a big deal: a $2 app on someone's already-owned pocket phone vs. thousands of dollars in consumables (film) does make a difference.

For perspective, consider that major blockbuster movies are being shot on RED cameras which outperform film for as little as $15,000. Yes, a relatively excellent cell-phone camera can nowadays outperform 8mm film.

street.cory
Feb 20, 2013, 09:12 AM
I don't interperet the article into saying "iPhones are perfectly good replacements to conventional video cameras". I see it as a testament to the cameras Apple puts in their products and how technology has evolved over the years.

Just look at image and video quality differences between the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4(4S,5). Then look at those differences between other phones on the market. Especially video quality.

inscrewtable
Feb 20, 2013, 09:42 AM
30 fps and 1080p do not guarantee “video quality”. You should know that.

I think you misunderstood me. Whatever the 'quality' of the iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5 may be at 30fps and 1080p I was guessing that they'd be the same in spite of the extra mp on the iphone still camera because I'd assume that would be irrellevant on a movie as surely a lot of pixels are thrown away.

phillipduran
Feb 20, 2013, 10:36 AM
iPhone - It has the stuff! :D

skinnylegs
Feb 20, 2013, 10:53 AM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...Dude. He was shooting a *movie*.

This has to be one of the single coolest apps I have seen in years. Feature rich, nice UI and hella fun! If you are over the age of 40, this is a must-have app. LOL

camnchar
Feb 20, 2013, 11:48 AM
Surely you can't be serious ?

I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.

http://www.qcomics.net/images/leslie.jpg

lolkthxbai
Feb 20, 2013, 01:08 PM
Yes, because clearly the Oscar would have been won squarely on the quality of the iPhone's camera.

Not what I said but, that's what everyone would probably think which is why I made my original comment.

kokako
Feb 20, 2013, 01:58 PM
Sugarman is great doc, people need to check it out!

I shoot or used to a ton of super8 but I've been doing the same thing with this App and it's $2 as opposed to $100 for 3 minutes at 24fps of super (7280 film cartridge+process/deveolpment+telecine to dvcam or prores) sure it doesn't look as beautiful as the film but for a few seconds here and there it's fine.

Californication season 6 (current) uses this app in every episode for their super8, except the intro.

Love film, going to miss it but it has had its day.

runeapple
Feb 20, 2013, 02:19 PM
I think it shows more talent if you can have iPhone shots (Without making it look out of place to terrible) - So I think it's pretty cool :)

HolyHackZack
Feb 20, 2013, 02:26 PM
The film is heavily favored to win Best Documentary, I would say he did exactly what he 'should have' done.

Lark.Landon
Feb 20, 2013, 08:12 PM
While the story is cool, unless his Oscar relates to the quality of the filming itsn't it a bit pointless to mention it is Oscar nominated? I mean, if the film wins for best screenplay or best supporting actor, it doesn't really matter on what device the film was shot on...does it?

Still a really cool story, wonder if he used FCPX to edit it ;)

Oscar nominated film despite being filmed partially on an iPhone. It's important.

marc11
Feb 20, 2013, 08:40 PM
Oscar nominated film despite being filmed partially on an iPhone. It's important.

I know, and it was that word "despite" that initially made me think he was nominated for a cinematography category; which if so, is a huge deal. But if the film was nominated for best supporting actress, then using the iPhone, while still very impressive is not the same.

tfigs
Feb 21, 2013, 05:10 AM
8mm is a really great app. I've been using it for several years now and it is a lot of fun. One of the first apps I bought when I first got my phone. If you grew up watching 8mm family movies like I did it is a must have. And the developers are really good at updating and adding more filters and film types.

marksman
Feb 21, 2013, 08:37 AM
This cannot be serious...with an iPhone app? Lol he couldn't buy a point and shoot that's a million times better than any cellphone camera?

Come on now...this is just...wow bad...

How come you could not be bothered to read the article? That is just...wow bad...

Also please share with us your academy award nominated fiilms.

----------

"I realized that there was this $1 app here on my iPhone and I tried it and it was basically the same as the real stuff."

really..... a tiny, 8mp sensor is basically the same as 8mm film...

More amazing than this guy using the iphone to finish the movie, is that he also seems to be blind..
:cool:

Yet he has one Oscar nomination to your zero.

Moonlight
Feb 21, 2013, 12:08 PM
F%#K Pretention!!!!!!! I love it!!! :D:):D

charlituna
Feb 21, 2013, 02:56 PM
Producers don't like hearing that their directors "ran out of money."

This was in indie docu so he probably was also the producer

----------

The overall effect might work well in the movie and could explain the shaky cam/bad lighting we from many other filmmakers who serve it up without commentary.

No joke. I see such things used so much as an artistic choice and it drives me crazy.

And yet when a choice to 'down grade' would make sense they don't do it. Like a little grain in The Hobbit to make it fit in with the other films. And then there was the issue of the fast forward look of most of the panning shots. I find it hard to believe there was no way to slow those down to a more normal speed. My only hope is that it might be corrected for the home video releases or at least the other two films.

And maybe, for similar screaming by movie goers, the jerky cut, shakes cam crap will be ended.

----------

I know, and it was that word "despite" that initially made me think he was nominated for a cinematography category; which if so, is a huge deal.

The category is about how the film looks based on the knowledge and skill of the DP and how that look fits the needs of the story being told

Not the flashiness of the tech being used. So no, that he used an iPhone matters little if it works.

kockgunner
Feb 24, 2013, 08:46 PM
This movie just won an Oscar :)

zorinlynx
Feb 25, 2013, 03:12 PM
Pretty cool. Hopefully he didn't need any low-light shots, though.

iPhone camera actually performs better than 8mm film for low light.

Remember, 8mm film frame is very tiny. If you use film with an ISO high enough for low light shots, the grain becomes unbearable.

Technology has gone a long way.

12dylan34
Feb 25, 2013, 11:48 PM
iPhone camera actually performs better than 8mm film for low light.

Remember, 8mm film frame is very tiny. If you use film with an ISO high enough for low light shots, the grain becomes unbearable.

Technology has gone a long way.

I guess that I first made this comment being uninformed. Before looking it up, I assumed that it was shot A, digitally, and B, with an expensive camera like a RED Epic or Sony EX-1. Sorry about that. Believe it or not, I actually have used (and had to pay for) 8mm film in a college class and I know that you have to have plenty of light.

I do find it interesting that he shot it with the 8mm app instead of shooting clean video and making it look like 8mm film in post...I guess that would just be another expense, though.