Over the past few years, we have received several requests from clients to submit their own video footage to us. Usually, the footage is taken using an iPhone or similar smartphone device. However, the poor quality of these videos sometimes prohibits us from fulfilling these requests.
Every year, the iPhone makes major strides in improving and advancing camera technology. The latest pro model boasts the first triple camera system as well as the ability to shoot video in 4k. Despite these impressive features, more than just a good camera is needed to create a professional video.
Popular iPhone Video Projects
There is an increasing popularity of iPhones being used in major film productions. For example, “Snowbrawl Fight” directed by John Wick and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch, was shot on the iPhone 11 Pro. Professional looking and feeling videos such as this can be confusing as to why a big video production company with a more expensive camera is needed.
The iPhone Pro’s optics and ability to shoot 240 frames per second are impressive. However, they’re not on par with a professional camera, equipment, and other factors that go into making a film look perfect. Examining the Snowbrawl Fight video further, there are a lot of factors that went into the production.
The video takes place outdoors and was lit by a professional lighting crew. This is the key as to why it looks so good. A graphics department added digitally falling snow. An original score was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch to add drama. Behind the iPhone camera was an entire production crew to make it look and sound beautiful.
Cinema Camera vs. Phone Camera
There are key differences between an iPhone and a professional camera. The Canon C200 is commonly used by many film production companies. The key differentiator is that C200 has the bandwidth to not only produce a higher, better quality image but the ability to make adjustments if the shooting conditions weren’t perfect.
So while it’s possible to produce a fantastic video with an iPhone, other pieces and knowledge are required to do it right. There needs to be a properly lit environment, planned cinematography, and cinematic framing, just to name a few.
If you are planning on making a video using your iPhone or submitting iPhone clips to an editor, make sure you have someone supporting the filming that understands all the pieces needed to make a video look good. If you don’t have someone to consider exposure, framing, backlighting, stabilization, setting focus point, then it’s likely you’ll be disappointed with the results.
Probably the most important thing is to understand how what you put out in the world reflects your brand. We understand it’s not always feasible to bring in an entire production crew every time and by following some best practices you can have success shooting with an iPhone. However, we recommend these pieces generally be used for internal purposes only.
Look out for an upcoming blog on best practices for filming with an iPhone.