Tangerine has been a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The indie flick is drawing crowds thanks to a plot that features transgender prostitutes, Hollywood, meth addicts, pimps, and beat cops. But the craziest thing about director Sean Baker’s film is that instead of using a professional camera rig, he shot it all on the iPhone 5s.
Lots of amateur cinematographers have used the iPhone to record movies, however, Tangerine is the first movie ever at Sundance shot entirely with an iPhone. And it’s a not a bad film either.
Baker’s camera setup consisted of three iPhone 5s capturing footage with an $8 video app called FilmicPro. The indie writer and director said he made the choice to shoot on the iPhone due to his small budget. Shooting with an iPhone has its advtanges though. The filmmaker didn’t need to buy filming permits from the city of Los Angeles, which gave him the opportunity to capture a side of the city rarely seen.
To capture shake-free shots on the iPhone, Baker employed a Steadycam to keep scenes smooth and distraction free. Baker’s secret weapon that made the movie look truly worthy of the big screen was prototype 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter lens for the iPhone 5s by Moondog Labs.
“To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have even made the movie without it,” Baker told The Verge. “It truly elevated it to a cinematic level.”