Scott Shaw.com Be Positive

Teaching What You Know

Yesterday, I alluded to the fact about shooting a music video on an iPhone and that got me to thinking…. …Thinking about something that I have thought about before. I have long contemplated teaching a course on how to use an iPhone to actually shoot a movie. Though, in truth, I don’t know how that would fit into the curriculum of most university programs in cinema, as they like to keep them all-stuffy and stuff. But, as the cameras in iPhones, and smart phones in general, have become so good, in many ways it has become the obvious answer for the low budget filmmaker. ...Everyone has one, but few people use them to their full potential.
 
As time has progressed, there have been filmmakers who have shot movies and music videos on their iPhone and some look really-really good. I’m sure in the plethora of all that, I was one of the first. That statement is not rockin’ any ego there or anything. But, as I have always tried to use what was readily available to get a film project completed, the iPhone just became a natural tool. So, when the cameras on the phones got good, I was right there makin’ movies with them.
 
Now that the cameras are really good, and now that pretty much everyone has an iPhone or other high-end smart phone, it has really surprised me that more filmmakers don’t use them to get their project completed. If you watch news networks like BBC and the like, you will see that there are reporters out there in the field filming and transmitting their stories via their phone.
 
I think maybe one of the holdbacks is that people, young or novice filmmakers, want to look professional. So, they want to rock a pro-camera, use a bunch of lights, have a boom operator, and all the stuff like that. And sure, I get it. But, if it is not necessary, it is not necessary. You can make a really good movie, or a whatever, on your phone. You just have to remember to turn it to its side. The major mistake that everyone seems to make is that when they use their phone to film, they hold it in the same vertical position as when they talk to someone or take snapshots. Wrong! That image will not fill a screen. Turn it to its side.  
 
The point in all this being, you can make a really good movie with your phone if you want to. So, for all you filmmakers out there, whether you’ve made multi-million-dollar movies, no-budge schlock, or just videos of your dog running around, you can do it on your phone, and you can make a quality piece of cinema with it.
 
Assignment for the day or the whenever… Get out there and film with your phone. Either plan a shoot or when you see a shot, shoot it. Take out your camera, think about shooting it right, and do it! You never know, you may make the next piece of revolutionary cinema. And you may do it with your phone.