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Show Pilot Shot Entirely on iPhones

Lee Herbet explains the techniques he used to shoot a pilot of a photography show using just iPhones. There's more good tips & information in Lee's three 'how-to' videos than you get in some paid courses!

 

Back in the before times, I had an idea for what I thought would be a cool show to produce. 

The premise was for a travel show that was like a photography exchange programme. A photographer would visit another photographer and they would show them around their city as a photographic destination.

One of the things that I really wanted for this show was for it to be very low profile. Now I love my big camera, lights and microphones as much as the next person, but a big crew and setup would not have worked for this concept.

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I wanted to keep production costs low-ish and more importantly, it’s easier to run around filming people if you’re not carrying around a big camera that draws attention.

shot on iphones fcp 02

 

So I decided to shoot this show on iPhones, if it was possible. I did a few months of testing and what I found was that in most situations, as long as you had good light. You could get really good results from the iPhones. 

Of course there was still the challenge of audio, but that is a conversation for another time.

I was pretty excited about the idea of being able to have my entire production kit in a single shoulder bag instead of the multiple pelican cases and camera bags I normally travel with.

shot on iphones fcp 04

 

I also realised that it would be challenge to sell this show without proof that we could deliver on the quality people expect from my production company (FYI, the quality they expect is excellent. 😉 ) So I decided we would need to shoot a pilot. This way we could show potential commissioners the quality of the show and then just mention, by the way, it was all shot on iPhones. 

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Below are links to the actual pilot as well as a short series of clips I shot explaining the show and how we shot it in more detail.

Also a selection of some bts shots from the shoot

I’d love to know what you think!

 

Pilot - The Camera You Have with You 

 

 

How we made "The camera you have with you" Part 1

 

How we made "The camera you have with you" Part 2 - Camera Stuff 

 

How we made "The camera you have with you" Part 3 - Audio

 


Written by
Blogger Expert

Cinematographer, Producer and Apple Certified Trainer, Capture.ink

Lee Herbet is a filmmaker and educator. Through his company, Capture.ink, he and his team have helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their stories.

He loves teaching and delivers workshops all over the world. He writes for a number of online photography and video sties on topics ranging from reviews to “how to” articles. He is also a certified Final Cut Pro Master Trainer.

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Ben Balser's Avatar
Ben Balser replied the topic: #112430 30 Jan 2021 02:36
I've shot three pilots over the past 5 years on only iPhones, plus tons of broadcast TV segments and commercials. Don't know why it's not just a mainstream professional tool these days.  Good article, thanks for posting it.
RskikR's Avatar
RskikR replied the topic: #112442 31 Jan 2021 09:34
Great to see Melbourne featured. I like what phones can do these days, what they'll be capable of in the future.
thinkfilm's Avatar
thinkfilm replied the topic: #112448 01 Feb 2021 16:19
Excellent explainer videos - especially the audio one. I hope your shot idea comes back when the world does.