5 Short Docs Shot Entirely on Smartphones
In 2012, the late filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul released the first feature length film to be partially shot on the iPhone: the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man. More recently, the drama Tangerine made huge waves at the Sundance Film Festival for how it was masterfully shot entirely on an iPhone. Yet, despite these successes, the majority of feature documentaries are still shot on more expensive, professional cameras. These five short docs below prove that you don’t need an expensive camera to shoot successful films.
1. A Woman’s Epic Journey to Climb 7 Mountains
This film, shot entirely on the iPhone 6S was featured in National Geographic’s Short Film Showcase. It follows Wasfia Nazreen, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Adventurer of the Year, on her journey to become the first Bangladeshi to scale the Seven Summits.
2. The Painter of Jalouzi
Another iPhone 6S film, this Huffington Post RYOT video — about a painter who wants to make Haitian slums more colorful — became the first smartphone short documentary shot in 4K. RYOT grabbed national headlines with this stunning film and have gone on to make more iPhone documentaries.
3. People & Power — Syria: Songs of Defiance
Unable to risk carrying a camera around, an Al Jazeera journalist in Syria used his smartphone to capture compelling footage of the Syrian Civil War.
4. Crafted by LG G4 — George & Willy
A branded documentary, this short LG smartphone video shows how two Kiwi carpenters spend their day practicing their craft.
5. Intelligent Details
Shot on the iPhone 5S, Bentley commissioned this branded short doc to show off how they were combining technology and luxury in their new car line.
Would you shoot an entire documentary on your smartphone?
By D. Simone Kovacs