Zurich has always held a special place in my heart, as I spent many summers there as a child. Revisiting so many years later as a contestant and ultimately a winner for the MoMo film festival with Dancers of NYC, and meeting so many creative people using their mobile devices to tell stories, inspired me to make the sequel to Dancers of NYC. It was so different than our first go around, with multiple dancers in frame at once, better equipment, and foreign backdrops. It was an adventure to say the least and everyone was a huge part of its creation with their ideas, suggestions, and talents. The goal here is to showcase everyone’s talent and have a ton of fun doing it!
- Why shoot on an iPhone?
I switched over to an iPhone (around the iPhone 4s) because as a photographer I know the ageold anecdote “The best camera is the one you have with you”. I noticed I was using my phone for my vacations and everyday shots more than my DSLR due to ease and convenience so I wanted the best quality possible. From there I just kept pushing the limits of what an iPhone could do.
Be it through apps that unlock manual controls or techniques with external attachments, I found the potential this little phone in my pocket held to be exciting.
Dancers of NYC was inspired by the fact that a small camera could have 240FPS. I love slow motion, especially being a dance photographer/videographer. Being able to capture the entire move instead of just the perfect frame is beautiful. From there it has really kind of taken off for me, pushing my creativity to the next level while providing quality footage for the dancers I work with. As someone who is often the casting director, I knew people without a Reel more than often get passed over for those who do. So I found a way that I could help Dancers and Actors alike create a Reel for their portfolio efficiently, cheaply, and quickly. Not only that but I could focus on their strengths and cut right to the meat of what makes them stand out from the rest. I call this process InMotion Reels which can be seen at http://alttabme.site.nfoservers.com/portfolio/in-motion-headshotsreels/ the latest one being: https://vimeo.com/129973515
But this is just one layer. For me the “Dancers of” project had much more potential than just one city. What comes to mind is that old YouTube video of the guy who went around the world dancing with multiple cultures in a kind, loving, and sometimes comedic form. “Dancers of” has the potential to showcase the different cultural styles, fashions, and movements. This is why, when I went to Zurich for the Mobile Motion Film Festival for Dancers of NYC that won, I decided to film as many dancers there as I could. I felt Zurich is a more ballet- focused culture so I focused mainly on Ballet this time around.
What I have found out during the festivals I have been to, is a consensus that there is something liberating about shooting on a mobile device. I can’t put my finger on it completely as I have shot on DLSR, RED, and ARIS… you name it, but mobile filmmaking is just different, in a truly liberating way. Sure, you are limited but the limitations seem to be very freeing in terms of being creative. They push you to truly focus on the story. Plus it is a ton of fun to show someone something so beautiful from something so small. No longer do you need to add 5000 attachments to your camera to be taken seriously. It is also nice to push the boundaries of what the iPhone can do and try to make something small much bigger through content and story. This is the ae of the storyteller, where cameras are in everyone’s pockets, with the ability to produce amazing quality. So if you have a story worth telling, you can get it out there . There is really no excuse!
- How did you improve the production value? What equipment did you use?
This time around I was not limited to a tripod and the iPhone alone. I had some innovative stabilizers: From the Ikan’s FlyX3 Electronic Gimbal to Grip Gear’s IndieSolo Stabilizer,I had an arsenal with which to do some truly unique movements through the dance, with such a small footprint it is easily transportable and flexible in terms of locations and mobility. It is like having a complex rail system without the setup.
I was also lucky enough to have multiple dancers available at a time giving me depth and multiple actions going on at once. At one point I had every dancer line up on a banister I found, wait for a train to go by, and as it passed I ran down the line as they all did a simple Tendu iteration that had an amazing feel of strength and unity between the dancers. It also allowed me to layer and give depth to the shots since I was lacking true DoF with a mobile lens, using these layers as a creative way to fill that open aperture space.
As well, I had a lot more time to really go into post and add the needed color correction and special effects that I didn’t have time for in Dancers of NYC due to the 3 day turnaround(including filming).
I am often asked what is the best equipment to film on an iPhone, and I always return with the question: “What is your story?” “What kind of shots are you creating”. There are so many amazing options out there to accomplish unique shots, lens adapters from Olloclip, stabilizers from Gripgear, full on DSLR lens rigs by Beastgrip, even traditional equipment can work with a mobile device as was shown with my own film Romance in NYC utilizing a Gorillapod and Glidecam, but at the end of the day the best way to approach it isto ask yourself: if everything broke, could you still achieve the shot with just the iPhone? Then you know that it is the best medium to tell your story!
- What sort of limitations did you have to adjust to?
I am constantly fighting the bitrate and focus of my shots. This pushes my need to get creative with layering, depth, and movement to allow the shots to keep the “feel” of DSLR quality but with a phone that doesn’t always have that luxury. I also needed to be very careful about exposure and the smoothing that the iPhone can apply to certain shots. While this may be great features for when you want to point and click, it can work against you when you need continuity between all your shots. I would hope in future iterations that Apple allows me more controls over exposure and bit-rate through the stock app. The LG G4 is an amazing example of giving the camera operator all the tools he needs , while not overwhelming those who just want to have the one button to click and shoot. Until then there are some amazing external apps that I use to get the shot right. I use all of them at this point.
- What’s the downside of shooting on an iPhone?
To be honest the only downside is lack of DoF, but with equipment such as Beastgrip and iOgrapher you can now attach DSLR lenses to your iPhone, so it will be interesting to see what I can do with that next. Like I said, the downsides are there for sure… lower resolution when shooting 240FPS, no 4K…but it all seems trite compared to the liberating feeling you get running down the line shooting 3 dancers moving in tandem with just a small stabilizer and iPhone in your hand. And man, does it make traveling with your equipment so much easier.
- How big was your “crew” for this film?
The “crew” consisted of me and my sister who happened to be taking an “Eat Love Pray” trip around Europe at the time. She shot Behind the Scenes and helped me to keep my equipment in order and I shot. We had about 8-9 dancers this time around in total. All extremely talented and part of some very prestigious ballet companies. Ideally you want at least 1-3 people with you on these shoots. One person for lighting, one for makeup, and one assistant to make sure everything is in order.
- What are you planning next?
Dancers of the World! I actually just got back from another film festival the New Media Film Festival in LA for my short film shot on iPhone 6 “Romance in NYC” which also came away with a win, and ended up extending my trip in order to shoot Dancers of California as well. This film will have a strong emphasis on contemporary dance, performance dance(aerialist/pole), with ballet and other forms to round it out. I wanted to really capture the dance culture in California as best as I could. There are whispers that I may be heading to Hong Kong for my next “Dancers of” film.
Ultimately I believe this could be an amazing way for Dance companies such as Capezio, Sportswear designers such as Under Armor, or Fashion Designers in general to get their lines out there in a new and exciting way. I would love to work more hand in hand with them because the juxtaposition of the absolutely magical beauty of a ballerina’s form and technique with style and fashion and trends produces a beautiful result that caters to a broader and potentially deeper audience. Take that and apply it to dance styles and trends all over the world and you have a recipe for something truly amazing, all shot on an iPhone…. can’t get any more cutting edge trendy than that. And not just for the “trendy” aspect but because it is truly something I believe in as a legitimate form of filmmaking in this day and age.
Not only that but this is an amazing way to connect with so many different people and showcase their talents for the world to see, in such a new and unique way.
I am very excited to continue shooting on iPhone in the future, it is extremely fun to overcome the limitations and after seeing our first short film Romance in NYC on the big screen next to those shot with Reds and such we were completely blown away by the fact that it really held up beyond a measure of a doubt.
I was asked a very interesting question during the Q/A for Romance in NYC, “Have you ever considered not telling an audience they are watching a film on an iPhone?” I ended up writing a pretty in depth piece about it here: http://alttabme.site.nfoservers.com/portfolio/shot-on-iphone-the-age-of-the-story/
The jist though is that “As I continue forward with mobile filmmaking I am constantly working with companies like Grip Gear and Beast Grip to push thelimitations of mobile devices further. So I am excited for the day when I don’t feel it necessary to say it was shot on an iPhone, but for now I enjoy sharing that small bit of information for those who may feel like they can’t tell their story because their tech isn’t up to par. Because in the end if your story is strong and you know how to manipulate your medium for filming, iPhone or RED, your film will captivate your audience because we all go to the movies for that suspension of disbelief and all of these mediums allow that to happen. So take your phone out of your pocket more and start filming!”
As always you can follow the progress of all of these projects at http://tristanpope.com or any of my social media outlets: Twitter/Facebook/Instagram @tristanpope
I am totally humbled. Romance in NYC has WON at the New Media Film Festival LA. Congratulations to an amazing team that made this happen! Thank you for all your hard work! Thank you as well to the judges and program heads at the festival for the great opportunity to share our film with more people!
The festival was really an amazing selection of top quality films. We are so proud to have been a part of it!
After a beautiful stay in Zurich we are happy to announce we won at the Mobile Motion Film Festival!
Flying back to the states last week was sad but had such an amazing time with the wonderful MoMo film fest folks Andrea Holle and meeting Boa Lingua my sponsor Rahel Stössel. As well all the amazing dancers I met for “Dancers of Zurich” can’t wait to show you the amazing footage all together!
Zurich has always held a special place in my heart so it will be hard to leave but away to NYC for a few days and than off to another film festival the New Media Festival in LA with Aleece McCutcheon for Romance in NYC the short shot on an iPhone6.
“Romance in NYC” has been selected as an Official Selection to be part of a “Special Presentation” screening at the International Mobil Film Festival, San Diego. We are extremely honored to be a part of this festival not only via “Dancers of NYC”, but to be able to share” Romance in NYC” as a special presentation, hosted by Susan Botello the Festival Creator.
We truly believe in the growing Era of Mobile Filmmaking and are proud to be a part of this festival that encourages people to get out there and tell their stories utilizing tablets, phones, or any mobile device, seriously, anything with the word “cell” in it!
I get asked this question a lot when it comes to Romance in NYC our Short Film shot entirely on the iPhone 6 is, “When can we see it?” So I figured I would explain how the festival circuit works in a bit more detail for those who may not be aware.
The allure of the Laurels is real!
To have these on your films poster is not only a badge of pride, it shows you made it through hundreds of other films to be selected to be screened at a venue that has a limited space. It shows your work is being acknowledged and enjoyed. It is the equivalent of a gallery showing for a photographer. You are taking up limited time slots in a festivals very tight schedule.
Submitting to a film festival feels a lot like college applications but when you get denied from one it is much more of a moral hit due to the content being your creation, your baby, your “artistic vision”. Which also makes a win so much more rewarding.
When you decide to submit to film festivals with any film you basically become a very good reader of fine print and expert secretary and this is why:
Each film festival has its own rules for submission.
- Some festivals only accept World Premiere’s, meaning it has never been shown anywhere else or at any other festival. This means, if you wish to submit to this festival, you have to arrange the other festivals around it in a way that if you do get accepted to one it won’t show or premiere prior to the World Premiere one.
- Format for showing
- Length (in our case we fell into short, which can be defined as under 60 minutes, under 30, under 5 etc. It is pretty different per festival)
- EVERY festival has ONE major rule: The film cannot be viewable online to be considered as a selection for the festival.
- Some festivals have festival winner categories and some are just there to help screen your work and give it great exposure. You can be selected for screening at some festivals but not selected as a winner. Either way being selected in an honor because of the amount of submission each festival gets ever year.
This applies to every type of traditional festival, but because Romance in NYC was filmed using a mobile device this opened up other avenues for us as well. We decided to make our first round of submissions through tradition festivals even thought we used a mobile device to film it. We used the mobile device for many creative reasons, but the story is the ultimate selling point for any film and we felt the story came across well enough to run the traditional circuit so to say. But because we used a new medium as well we didn’t want to limit ourselves:
Online film festivals are growing exponentially, especially since we created a film on a mobile device, there were many other options open to us. Mobile Film is a very new medium still, but the opportunities it creates for emerging filmmakers to be seen in an otherwise hard to break into field is amazing. Many very prominent film makers and judges are joining the ranks of mobile film festivals around the world. The exposure this can create for your hard work is enormous and should not be overlooked! Just because it isn’t Sundance, doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely beneficial and prestigious to submit to anymore.
However, many online mobile festivals require a copy of the film to be posted to their website if it is selected. That would disqualify you from all of the above festivals you worked so hard to strategically pick and schedule, with the hope you are selected. Not to mention negate an entry fees, that adds up quickly, if you choose multiple festivals to submit to.
What we were able to do in our situation was to reach out to the festivals management we were interested in and ask them if we could send them a private screener of the entire short film and if selected have the trailer posted online instead of the full film to allow us to finish our festival circuit before a full online release to the public. Many mobile festivals are accommodating of this since they too understand the process of submissions and the varying rules and guidelines. Check with your festivals before hand. Off the top of my head the ones that were extremely helpful in this regard were the Mobil Film Festival San Diego, Cinephone, The Original iPhone Film Festival, and iPhoneFF.com.
It is very important to make sure your festival submissions do not conflict with one another. So keep a good calendar of submission dates, selection dates, and screening dates.
You should not just submit to every festival out there, I mean you can if you want, but it is better to get their history, length they have been running(which is a great factor in seeing if it is an established organization), and see if your films subject matter and story align with previous festival winners/selections. This will help you to create a very targeted approach to submissions in what can be a very overwhelming pool of festivals.
I hired Joanna Cabello to help with this process. She does this for a living and is very familiar with festivals and can help to create PressKits, contacting festival organizers on your behalf, and make it so you are not just submitting blindly. We have worked on many films together so I trusted her without hesitance. I highly suggest her services!
So now you have submitted to festivals, now what?
Well this is the tell tale of hurry up and wait. You cannot influence the judges opinions of your piece obviously, but what you can do is continue your marketting campaign to build buzz around your film, even if it hasn’t been released yet. For us Romance in NYC has been getting a lot of media attention lately from our trailer and behind the scenes footage we timed with the upcoming festival circuit we chose:
This is extremely important to a successful circuit run, keeping the hype alive. As well you are building a following of people who, if you are selected for a festival, will want to show up to see and support your hard work and film at the screenings. You don’t want your film to just sit in the ether and die. We started our film via Kickstarter which was a great way to engage and build a community, this still applied after it is over and your film has been finished and submitted.
You can release teasers, behind the scenes, and promotional material as long as you don’t show the entire film.
So this is a general breakdown of the process when it comes to film festivals and ultimately the answer to “When can we see it?” is, if you are lucky enough to make it into one of the festivals you submitted to, the festivals themselves!
We just got accepted as an Official Selection for New Filmmakers of New York 2015:
This means you can now tell your engaged audience and followers the venue, when it will screen, and invite them all to come and have a first look at the film in all its glory.
New Filmmakers New York
Wednesday, April 15 – Courthouse Theater @ Anthology
6:00 PM Short Film Program
Chantal Massuh-Fox GIRLS CLUB (2014, 4 minutes, video)
Lauren Muller AURA (2015, 10 minutes, video)
David Steven Simon DANTE AND BEATRICE: A FAMILY FILM (2014, 20 minutes, video)
Joseph Minion AIRPORT 2012 (2014, 22 minutes, video)
Tristan Pope ROMANCE IN NYC (2014, 18 minutes, video)
So we hope to continue sharing this film through festival selections until we are done with the circuit and make it available for everyone via online or DVD distribution. With a short such as ours I suggest online and DVDs being a special perk for those who want a physical copy.
Hopefully this clears up some of the questions and look forward to see you all at the screenings!
This has been quite the week for Romance in NYC, our short film shot ENTIRELY on the iPhone 6. We had been tracking all the wonderful articles in the behind the scenes post, but we just got news of all the ways it made it’s way around the world! So here is as much of the international coverage we could collect for the world to enjoy love via Romance in NYC!
National TV Fuji Networks:
Watch out Hollywood, now people are making movies shot with an iPhone 6
“Romance in NYC”: do much with little on Valentine’s Day
“Romance in NYC”: a short-film filmes on iPhone 6
Enjoy Valentine’s Day with a short film made with iPhone
Filmmaker produces short film with his smartphone
I don’t actually have any to name off the top of my head. I may be ingrained in the industry but I have always created because it was motivated by a feeling, idea, or mood. Sure I may watch things like Band of Brothers for inspiration, but I try not to idolize nor watch too much to replicate because I want to develop my own feel. Sometimes I end up creating something that mirrors something someone has already done, to me that is OK because we all get inspiration from one another but I don’t go out of my way to study someone else’s techniques. I am a trial by error kinda person.
One day of a couple’s life: how to shoot a video
Gift idea: mini movie on iPhone as a gift or the most original “Valentine”
Romance New York – movie-Valentine shot on iPhone 6
Love in New York or when your Valentine is worth an Oscar
They talked about trying the iPhone 6 out and what the concept of the movie is about etc. in a very positive and creative way.
“A story is a story whether you view it at 1080p or 4K.” – Tristan Pope
I have had a lot of inquiries about the equipment used in Romance in NYC after releasing this behind the scenes video:
Here is a complete list!
You can purchase all of these items here:
|AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod wit…
|AmazonBasics 67-Inch Monopod||Neewer® 5 in 1 Portable Round 32”Inch/…
What we found when shooting this film was that the process of making the film was almost as exciting as the film itself. We wanted to share that with you.
So please enjoy an Exclusive Behind the Scenes look into the process of shooting an intimate and candid story about everyday love, shot entirely on the iPhone 6 to capture even the tiniest nuances of
“Romance in NYC”
In 2015, it’s no longer uncommon for filmmakers to use smartphones instead of film cameras. Still, only over the past few years has the quality of the cameras, lenses and app software become so impressive that phones can be used to capture DSLR-quality cinematic moments.
If you still needed convincing that smartphone cameras are more than capable of professional results, “Romance in NYC” may do the trick. Shot not only entirely from the a single character’s point of view, but using nothing more than an iPhone 6 and a selection of apps and accessories, the 15 minute short was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in late 2014 and is now making the rounds of the festival circuit. I caught up with director Tristan Pope to find out what made him put down his pro-camera kit for a smartphone, how the iPhone 6 delivered in unexpected ways, and why he ended up wearing a GorillaPod like a Hannibal Lecter mask.
This Emmy Award-winning director and photographer shot his latest film, “Romance in NYC” on an iPhone 6. In this guest post, he explains why and how he did it.
I love my iPhone 6+, and have been shooting, editing, and publishing lots of glorious video with it, on the road.
I really enjoyed seeing Tristan Pope‘s behind-the-scenes exploration of how “Romance in NYC” came to be. “The iPhone has limitations,” he says “but the limitations themselves spur creativity.” Couldn’t agree more.
Romance in New York, by filmmaker Tristan Pope, takes the point of view of a boyfriend waking up to spend the day with the love of his life. Pope wanted to show the intimacy that comes from everyday moments, and the subtleties and nuances that exist in every expression and every action, even the ones that might seem small. What’s more — he shot the entire 15-minute film on theiPhone 6.
Romance in New York will be showcased at film festivals around the word. Check out the trailer, above, and the behind-the-scenes video below. Maybe, like me, it’ll inspire you to stretch the limits of your own iPhone videos.
TRISTAN POPE CAPTURES BIG APPLE ROMANCE ON THE iPHONE 6
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a New York City photographer and director is delivering a short film on capturing love in the Big Apple with nothing but an iPhone 6.
Well, what a coincidence, and just in time for Valentine’s Day! This behind-the-scenes making-of movie of Tristan Pope’s new 15 minute short film, ‘Romance In New York’, was posted online literally a few hours before I sat down at my desk, bleary-eyed, to write my previous post..
Watch the Official Trailer Here:
Follow the entire story from conception to kickstarter here: kickstarter.com/projects/165580313/romance-in-nyc-shot-entirely-on-the-iphone