This entry is for all my fellow filmmakers out there. I know the struggle when it comes to filming something, and filming it for cheap (or even free). More often than not, I hear the following excuses: I don’t have a good camera; I don’t have money; I don’t have a crew. Well let me tell you something, welcome to every single one of my short films. Yes, if you are trying to make a feature, all your concerns are valid. You won’t get far. But when young filmmakers are trying to get their start, or even others who just want to film something … just do it!
I would like to share a short film with you that I filmed a few months back. I was the extent of the crew. The exterior forest scene was just my actor and I (well, my wife was there too, but she was off taking Instagram photos). I don’t usually DP (director of photography, the camera guy) my films, but I wanted to prove a point with this one: you don’t need a full crew to start shooting, especially if it’s a short film. Here’s your proof: a one-man crew (I did have one guy help hold a boom pole for audio during the interior dialogue scene—but that’s the extent of the on-set crew), and two actors!
If you’re now saying, “Ok Sam, I get it—I can do it alone … but I still don’t have a good camera to shoot my film with!” let me put you at ease. I forgot to mention that this entire short film was shot on my iPhone. Yes, the same one I use on a daily basis. Now, if you’re asking, “Why?”—I want to answer that with a, “Why not?” Yes, this film could have been better had I shot on a good camera—but that wasn’t the point of this exercise. I wanted to stretch myself and prove to people and myself that you don’t need a fancy shmancy camera to create your story. I definitely would not recommend using an iPhone to make your film if you can avoid it, but you can if you need to! The problems with an iPhone are that everything is preset to automatic functions (auto focus, auto exposure, auto white balance) and they are constantly trying to change while you’re filming. VERY ANNOYING! But, VERY doable!
No more excuses. If you have a story to tell, granted it’s not a period piece or the next Lord of the Rings movie, do it! As a little cherry on top, we entered this short in an online competition and we ended up taking first place![Fun fact: the movie poster above was also shot and edited on my iPhone!]
The Passing iPhone Short: