Dueling New Film Projects and the iPhone 4S for a Feature Film

I posted a few days ago about a new film project I’m working on.  You can read about that here.

I’m working on that with Dikran Ornekian and his involvement has freed me up to turn some attention towards a project I started in 2010, but was never able to find the voice for.  An off-beat little thriller called Penny Black.  The problem was the lead character, a female.  She just wasn’t interesting to me and it posed problems not only when sitting down to write, but in the outline.  So I went back to the drawing board and once I re-crafted her, it all sort of flowed.  I’ve found that a lot of times on projects I have trouble getting into, if I take some time off – whether it is weeks, months or sometimes years – it opens up a lot of doors and removes some roadblocks.

This is a project I started with the intention of doing ulta-low-budget.  But the way I want to do it now is even more so… I want to shoot it on the iPhone 4S with a seriously small crew. The 4S ships with an 8 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor that records 1080p video at 30 FPS, with an f/2.4 aperture and a gyro for video stabilization.  Word is that the automatic stabilization seems to work wonders, and gets rid of most the jello. 1080p resolution doesn’t mean 1080p quality, but if the sensor supports it, there’s no reason not to enable it.

I don’t think the image from the iPhone is ready for a film blow-up yet (it gets a bit muddy in low-light and the blacks aren’t that sharp), but the image is somewhat stunning and you can definitely shoot something you have smaller screen aspirations for.  There are more than a few apps that override the autofocus and controls on the camera, like Filmic Pro… as well as lens attachments (I’ll do a post on those in the future when I’ve sorted through them all).

Here are a few 5D and 7D comparisons with the iPhone 4S.

 

 

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