26 Apr 5 Years of Open Close Movie
“Someone should make a feature length film (45 mins or more) entirely on a mobile – shoot, edit, music and everything…”
It would be another 5 minutes before I realised “I” should be that person…
It’s July of 2017, I’m lying on a beach when someone sends me a link to a new promotional film by Apple.
It’s called “Détour” and it’s a 9 minute short film, shot on iPhone 7, by none other than Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)!
And this is exciting for me. In my mobile filmmaking workshops (which were nearly five years old at this stage) amongst the slides I shared with participants was one with all the Hollywood movies that had (at the very least) a contribution from someone using a mobile phone for a shot. This film from Apple was the biggest deal since Sean Baker’s indy feature “Tangerine” in 2015 – shot entirely on three iPhone 5Ss.
But while Gondry (and everyone else to this point) had used the phone to shoot, the rest of the production (essentially the editing) was traditional Hollywood. The footage would find its way to a big editing system like Avid, Final Cut or Premier Pro.
I got it. Apple and these filmmakers were interested in the convenience and opportunities offered by the camera and what it could do for the shoot. For them there was no benefit from sitting down to edit their film on the phone.
My motivation was different. I was trying to demonstrate how mobile was the future for teaching film, for small comms teams or small businesses or local authorities or colleges and universities… and more (I even had a surgeon once) (and more), all of whom probably didn’t have the time to learn the more complex technology or the budget to invest in it. I was simply holding up the mobile phone as the perfect tool for people who wanted more than scrappy bits of videos shared on Twitter but didn’t need glossy, agency polished (expensive) film shoots. The Hollywood stuff was a shortcut to say, the quality is there, you don’t need to be embarrassed using this technology.
But no one was doing it. There were these examples that came close, but never went all the way. They were the wrong projects… and I just needed an example that said, there you go, in this film they did EVERYTHING on a mobile.
It was at this point I realised I was going to have to do it myself…
Part 2 next week