There’s the iPhone Film Festival that will be holding its Film Event at Macworld on Friday evening, and then there’s the Original iPhone Film Festival. I’m unsure as to which festival can lay claim to “firsties,” but the emerging field of iPhone filmmakers could use the exposure that comes with having multiple festivals.
On Thursday afternoon, festival founders Matt Dessner and Corey Rogers took to the stages of Macworld to discuss the still-nascent state of iPhone filmmaking. Dessner began the session by describing the exciting ecosystem that’s grown around the new format. He characterized the iPhone as a “film studio in our pockets,” which is convenient given the festival’s stated notion that “everyone has a story to tell.”
The presenters then delved into the nitty-gritty of making films on the iPhone. Dessner dished on some of the more helpful apps available that assist in the iPhone filmmaking process. MovieSlate, available on iOS, allows users to log and organize all their shots and avoid confusion once the hectic editing phase begins. Next up was FilmIC Pro, an app that expands upon the iPhone’s already robust camera by offering different shooting modes and FPS settings. These and many other accessories are available to aid the fledging iPhone director.
Rogers offered some more specific tips for aspiring iPhone filmmakers. He cautioned the crowd from using copyrighted music, which can doom a film into licensing hell. Instead, Rogers suggested using public domain and royalty-free music to ensure that there are no impediments to having a film distributed.
Towards the end of the session, the winner of the first Original iPhone Film Festival was revealed. The results came after festival producers tallied thousands of “likes” on submitted videos on Facebook. The winning submission was “Nancy Lee,” a music video directed by Alen Petkovic for the Los Angeles-based bandVintage Trouble.
The video is a well-shot performance piece filmed entirely on the iPhone 4. Taking place in a warehouse, the video employed a heavy retro filter, replete with film stock artifacts and cue marks (otherwise known as “cigarette burns,” as famously mentioned in the film and novel Fight Club). The band, a retro soul/R&B outfit, carries a distinctly ’50s look that permeated the clip. The video was an impressive display of what can be achieved on the iPhone, and it portends even greater results as people become more familiar with the process.
“We’ll be accepting submissions again in the spring, sometime after May,” Rogers said after the session ended. That’s the cue for iPhone users to start shooting.