Smartphone Movies and the Tools Being Used

Smartphone Movies and the Tools Being Used


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Movie-making technology has come a long way in the last few years. Movies that once cost millions of dollars from major movie studios can now be shot with nothing more than your smartphone, which is becoming a new trend. Emerging filmmakers are taking advantage of their 1080p smartphones and creating masterpieces for the world to enjoy.

The Beginning of Smartphone Films

The trend for shooting movies on smartphones roughly began in 2010 with American Filmmaker Hooman Khalili, a 37-year-old radio host from California. Khalili explained his use of a smartphone before the U.S. release of his movie to AFP. He said, “Technology is moving so quickly and cellphones are really going to be the thing that does everything eventually. They already do so much, and in January 2010 I came up with this idea and I saw there was nothing out there that existed. This is groundbreaking technology.” He continues that although the lens is a bit big and clunky, that’s how first-generation technology works.

The film, Olive, was released in Los Angeles with Golden Globe winner actress Gena Rowlands in the starring role. The film was shot with the Nokia N8 with a high resolution camera adapted with a 35mm lens to provide added depth of field.

Current Smartphone Movies

Juan Ortiz is one of many filmmakers taking advantage of today’s technology. Ortiz’s new horror film, “Jennifer Help Us,” is making the rounds this year in the film festival circuit and was shot entirely on an iPhone 4s. This feature length flick reflects the tradition of the late ’70s and early ’80s style horror films and has a lot of buzz surrounding it.

Another smartphone movie to keep your eyes peeled for is the new independent zombie movie, “Virus of the Dead.” The film is being shot by a collaboration of filmmakers from around the world using only smartphones. At the end of 2014, the lead filmmakers requested that anyone who wanted to be part of the project needed to submit a 2 to 5 minute clip to be considered for the movie. The filmmakers hope to show the effects of a worldwide zombie apocalypse through “one big mosaic movie, which will give a scary and realistic take to the film genre.”

The Filming Tools Being Used

Even with the wide variety of smartphones available, the iPhone is a go-to for getting the job done. Some movies that have been filmed on the iPhone include “Framed,” “Tangerine,” and many others at the iPhone Film Festival, which included feature films, shorts films, animation and documentaries.

The HTC One M9 is also a great choice because of the 20-megapixel camera and sapphire camera cover lens, which deliver crisp, clear photos and video. HTC even gave Robert Downey Jr. a phone to shoot 10 commercials, which are humorous and strange.

For all you future Spielberg’s and Kubrick’s, start writing those captivating scripts, whip out those smartphones and line up to be the first Academy Award-winning smartphone filmmakers.


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About author

Jason Bayless

Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.

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