Steven Soderbergh Wants to Shoot Movies Exclusively With iPhones

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Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven, Magic Mike) said that after shooting his upcoming film Unsane with an iPhone, he was so impressed with the quality that he’ll likely shoot iPhone-only in the future (via Indiewire).

iPhone Cinematography

I think this is the future. Anybody going to see this movie who has no idea of the backstory to the production will have no idea this was shot on the phone. That’s not part of the conceit. People forget, this is a 4k capture. I’ve seen it 40 feet tall. It looks like velvet. This is a gamechanger to me.

This isn’t the first iPhone movie either. Sean Baker shot a movie in 2015 called Tangerine, and it was filmed using three iPhone 5s models. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and I’m guessing that other filmmakers might use iPhones for certain movies in the future.

Image of Steven Soderbergh.

This is probably one of the best “tests” that the iPhone camera could have. Despite getting beaten by other smartphones on DxOMark (which has its own problems) no one is making movies with a Google Pixel or a Samsung phone.

It’s also an interesting intersection where two different markets meet. Apple has been facing criticism for abandoning the pro market, at least when it comes to the Mac. But with the iPhone, we’re seeing that a consumer device is also good enough for the professionals, at least in some areas.

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Jamie
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Jamie

Why? ‘Good enough’ does is not equal to ‘the best tool’. There is so much more versatility with other equipment, and on schedule and budget, one does not want to be hamstrung by such limitations. It’s a cool novelty, I guess, but there is more to this type of endeavor than picture quality – a lot more. People seem to forget that other camera technology is continuously moving forward, too, it isn’t restricted to phones, and the gap remains.