Michel Gondry is known for his wild and vivid films. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is possibly one of the best film ever committed to celluloid, and he has a huge number of visually stunning music videos under his belt.
Gondry is known for being innovative and now the French director has put together a short film called Détour that was shot entirely with Apple’s iPhone 7. The ten minute video is in French (with English subtitles), and is available on YouTube, and features a lot of his surreal touches. Here’s the synopsis for the short:
“Discover Détour, a film by Michel Gondry shot on iPhone. Follow the adventures of a small tricycle as it sets off along the French roads in search of its young owner.:”
You can watch the short film below:
Gondry’s film is absolutely adorable. Between the singing fish and the inexplicable giant tricycle, the French director really gets you to feel the plight of an inanimate object in just 600 seconds.
Obviously, this seems to be part of Apple’s ongoing ‘Shot on an iPhone’ promotional effort to show you how extraordinary the device’s camera is. Before you go out to buy one to shoot your own film, remember that these iPhones are heavily modified to shoot video. While the capture hardware is still just a stock iPhone 7, you can expect that hundreds or thousands of dollars were spent on peripherals and lenses to improve the look of the image.
That said, no one can really deny that a great film can be shot on a mobile device. In fact, Détour proves that you can shoot a compelling film on an iPhone provided you understand the limitations and work arounds.
I’m a big fan of mobile filmmaking ever since I saw Tangerine. The fact that you’re carrying around a device that is capable of shooting a feature film right in your pocket is mind blowing. You might not have the best camera available, but don’t forget that films like 28 Weeks Later and The Hurt Locker were shot on 16mm when 35mm was standard and digital was coming of age (and 28 days Later was shot on the Canon XL1 mini-DV camera when very few major films were shot digitally). Yet both those films still look fantastic.
The point is, is that amazing filmmaking can be made on a budget without the best gear. We’re entering a very interesting time in filmmaking and I can’t wait to see what’s next. If you’re interested in some tools to help you shoot with an iPhone, check out FiLMiC Pro and Moondog Labs’ anamorphic adapter, plus this article.