Armed with an iPhone 7, a DJI Osmo Mobile and a full version of Filmic Pro on iOS, we set out on a mission to produce our Kickstarter film. For those who were expecting big cameras, lights and crew, our choice of equipment came as a bit of a surprise and some people thought it was a crazy idea; but it did not take long to realise that we were on to a winning combination – after all why not:
Right from the start, we knew that we needed a lightweight and mobile film unit that could re-locate quickly; setup and shoot anywhere without having to hump a mountain of kit; operate under the power of a skeleton crew and so avoid the hassles of shooting in public places. And so, without a tripod or any sound equipment, we were a crew of 3 and we shot at 5 locations in 3 days.
Planning started a month before, Freya Billington from the Film Department at the University of the West of England had accepted our proposal to collaborate and introduced us to one of their finest students, Guillermo Quintinalla-Pinto. Presented with the challenge of producing a low budget film for Kickstarter use, Guillermo scouted and booked locations; recruited friends as models and actors; scheduled film shoots; organised transport, food and costumes; and ensured #hexology gathered all of the release forms and permissions needed.
Directors Louie Blystad-Collins and Darrel J Butlin had worked on film projects before and together came up with a creative brief. Yet this is the thing; the iPhone, DJI Osmo Mobile and Filmic Pro combination is so agile, we were able to define a shooting style that under normal circumstances, would be out of reach.
The challenge in the first instance was to figure out how to stage the scenes, so we shot a range of sequences and one of the immediate benefits of shooting with an iPhone is that we can watch the footage immediately. After a short period of experimentation, Louie, our Director of Photography and cameraman, discovered the Hero-shot. Shooting slow-motion, whilst looking up at the subject with the sun behind their head created a stunning visual effect.
- iPhone 7 Plus
The camera on the iPhone 7 plus has two lenses, one wide-angle and the other is telephoto. To avoid the feeling that the film was shot with an iPhone we opted to shoot with the telephoto lens, as it creates a filmic look instead of a the A-typical wide-angle selfie look. Although the iPhone is equipped with a 4K camera, we also opted to shoot in HD so that we can record at 50 fps. Tips: The iPhone will get hot when shooting for long periods so make sure the phone is ventilated by removing any protective covers. In addition, shoot in sunlight – the brighter the better – the iPhone image will get noisy and dull in medium to low-light and you may not notice that until you have transferred the media to a PC and you are watching it on a monitor.
- DJI Osmo
Stabilising handheld camera moves was only one of many key benefits of using the DJI Osmo Mobile. The ability to re-position the camera quickly creates a very direct workflow; and when you compare it to any other type of stabiliser it’s so small and compact that the logistics are insignificant, if not negligible. The calibration process is straight forward too! Whether your crouched down on one knee or hanging over a rail, the simplicity of the DJI Osmo Mobile is its superpower!
- Filmic Pro
Unlocking a professional level of control over the iPhone and the DJI Osmo is the beautifully designed Filmic Pro. It’s worth watching a few youtube videos and reading the manual so you know all the features, yet once you get going it’s intuitive and easy to use. At the forefront of the feature set is the ability to select which lens you want to use and also set the frame rate, combine that an ability to pick and lock the focus and exposure settings and suddenly, filmic pro is an enormously empowering photographic tool. The other important aspect of any digital film workflow is an ability to manage your media, and transferring images to your PC via a USB cable and iTunes is straight forward and reliable. Filmic Pro plays a key role in unifying the iPhone and DJI Osmo combination as a professional film-making platform, it’s the glue that integrates the two into a seamless user experience.
Now that the film is in the public domain people are often amazed when I tell them that we shot it with an iPhone. This is largely attributed to the amazing film-making talent of Louie Blystad-Collins, yet also because of the incredible iPhone, DJI Osmo and Filmic Pro combination which unlocks a style of film-making that is perfect for distribution on the web.
Ultimately, this film-maker story of empowerment encapsulates the spirit of #hexology. In the same way that the iPhone, DJI Osmo Mobile and Filmic Pro are empowering people to create and share their #SocialMedia, #hexology exists to empower people to share their media, not online, but in the #realphysicalworld. So one day, you may decide to share the films that you make in a real location, using #hexology.
Coming via Kickstarter, #hexology is gearing up to launch its crowd-funding campaign.