12 pro-caliber videos you won’t believe were shot on an iPhone

12 pro-caliber iPhone videos
Joshua Rainey Photography / Shutterstock
We all know the iPhone single-handedly changed the way people shoot photos, but surprisingly, it’s also beginning to impact the world of professional filmmaking. Apple’s flagship smartphone recently made headlines at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival for the critically praised feature-length film, Tangerine, which was filmed entirely with the iconic mobile device.

Tangerine, directed by Sean Baker and now set for eventual distribution, quickly earned the backing of Magnolia Pictures. Although it lacks the heavy-hitting qualities of most blockbuster films — it features a small, unknown crew and a plot revolving around two transgender women running around Los Angeles’ underbelly — it still touts one big hook from a tech angle; the crew shot its entirety with an Apple iPhone 5s.

As with all filmmaking cameras, using just the iPhone by itself wasn’t quite enough to create a complete film. Rather, the crew relied on extra equipment to beef up the film quality, including a prototype anamorphic lens adapter from Moondog Labs, the FiLMiC Pro video app, and a Steadicam. The film crew also received a healthy dose of help on the audio front, utilizing an SD 664 production mixer, boom mics, and even a lavalier during the filmmaking process. Baker specifically pointed to the anamorphic lens as the essential part of Tangerine’s production, though. “To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have even made the movie without it,” Baker told The Verge, further emphasizing how it “elevated” the film to a more “cinematic level.”

However, Tangerine isn’t the first production to utilize one of Apple’s many devices as a video camera. Here are some other great films shot entirely with Apple products.

And Uneasy Lies the Mind

This movie — coming in at 88 minutes in length — was shot strictly with an iPhone 5 while utilizing a mere $10,000 budget. The team used a Turtle Back Lens Adapter to equip the iPhone with a melange of different lenses, along with the same FiLMiC Pro app the crew behind Tangerine used. One drawback of using the iPhone? According to director Ricky Fosheim, the battery had a tendency to die within “two minutes” while shooting a few of the outdoor scenes in the cold.

Paranmanjang (Night Fishing)

Directed by Park Chan-wook, the man behind the South Korean iteration of Oldboy, this 33-minute film featured a “big” budget of $130,000 despite utilizing an iPhone 4 for filming purposes. However, it should also go without saying a hefty chunk of the budget went into working some post-production magic, which allowed the filmmakers to drastically spruce up the film’s visual qualities. The fantasy-horror flick features K-pop star Lee Jung-hyun as a man who encounters more than just sturgeon during what’s intended to be a mellow fishing trip.


Shot entirely with an iPhone 4S, the crew behind this three-minute short always intended to complete the project on a small budget. Aside from using the aforementioned Apple device, the small crew also opted for a tripod, slider, and a couple of clamps while filming. The entire film took a single day to film — and one more to edit — before the director uploaded it to the popular video site Vimeo.

The Editor

A paltry eight minutes allow the team behind The Editor to showcase three short stories in one, all the while successfully achieving solid production along the way. However, unlike films such as Tangerine and And Uneasy Lies The Mind, director Chris Nong made a point to use nothing particularly fancy. “I didn’t use any apps or lenses,” Nong mentioned in a Vimeo comment. “I wanted it to be shot strictly on phone (sic).”

I Play with the Phrase Each Other

Jay Alvarez’s critically-acclaimed I Play with the Phrase Each Other tore through film festivals in 2014, not because of its peculiar filming style but because it featured an even more peculiar premise. Production-wise, the film shot exclusively with an iPhone – on a $17,000 budget, no less – but I Play with the Phrase Each Other’s greatest facet is the way Alvarez tells the film’s story strictly through phone calls. He expertly weaves the viewers’ perspective of what’s happening by chiming in a phone call here, a phone call there, giving audiences the sensation they’re eavesdropping their way through the story. It’s a fascinating experience, one that’s even more amazing given it was done entirely with just an iPhone.

Romance in NYC

Touted as the first film shot entirely with an iPhone 6, filmmaker Tristan Pope’s POV film Romance in NYC depicts two lovers’ everyday lives in New York City. The film expertly captures the subtleties of relationships – even the usual humdrum – rendering it as romantic as it is gripping. The crew accomplished the feat with just an iPhone 6, an HD2000 Glidecam, a Blackwing grip, and several tripods and shoulder rigs. Edits were made using the MoviePro app, which Pope further expanded upon recently alongside his inspirations and ideas for the sensational film with IndieWire.


This short film clocks in just shy of a minute and a half, but YouTube contributor Matthew Pearce’s DragonBorne is a stunning display of an iPhone 6’s production power. Pearce says he used the iOS video editing app Efexio, the FilMiC Pro app, iMovie, Movie Looks, and Video Crop during the movie’s production. In a short, behind-the-scenes shot toward the end, viewers see Pearce merely holding the iPhone 6 while shooting, showing off the device’s incredible knack for stability. He also briefly points out how the equipment used to create the flick would have cost ordinary filmmakers upward of $10,000 just a short time ago.

Next page: More videos shot with Apple products


Get up close and personal with this telephoto lens for your phone

Moment is replacing its aging 60mm telephoto lens with a new 58mm tele lens, redesigned from the ground up for the latest iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy phones. Mount it onto the phone via a case and get closer with 2x optical zoom.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Product Review

Cut cable and keep quality with TiVo's 4K-friendly Bolt OTA DVR

Free over-the-air programming isn’t available in 4K, so why would you want a 4K OTA DVR? We’ll discuss what makes the new TiVo Bolt OTA a viable choice for cord-cutters with 4K UHD TVs who want to get ahead of the game.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

Golf ball-sized Lume Cube Air is a pocketable LED for photos and video

Off-camera lighting for smartphones and GoPros just got even smaller. Meet the Lume Cube Air, a smaller portable LED light designed for photos and videos that weighs only about two ounces.

Taking shots in the dark with Night Sight, the Pixel’s newest photo feature

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance is now getting even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.

Alpha Female: Sony awards five women grants to support artisan diversity

Women can face several challenges in launching a photography career -- Sony's latest initiative aims to help propel women in the industry forward. Sony recently announced the winners of the Alpha Female program.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Product Review

Fewer pixels, better camera? The Nikon Z6 shows the beauty of restraint

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.
1 of 2