Olivia Wilde Just Created Something Amazing With An iPhone

Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images.
Vinyl actress Olivia Wilde is making news today for two reasons. First, she's added her name to a small, but growing, list of female directors. Second, what she directed (a music video for Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros) wasn't shot with a traditional camera rig — it was shot on an iPhone 6s Plus.
"The iPhone lets people make films on a smaller budget, but I wanted to experiment with the new technology," Wilde told Refinery29 in a phone interview. "The ability to shoot in 4K is a completely different experience. I knew we could shoot something that would look a lot like film."

Wilde asked her friend and frequent collaborator Reed Morano to direct photography for the video. Morano, who's used to wielding a 55-pound shoulder camera, was dubious about Wilde's decision to go with the iPhone.

"I was excited by the idea — this would be a challenge," Morano said. "The pressure was on me to make it look just as good, if not better, than any other camera. I had my doubts, but was like, Let’s see what happens."

You can see the results for yourself, below. Morano shot the entire thing using an iPhone 6s Plus and the app FiLMiC Pro; the phone itself sat in handheld rig, which was "a Frankenstein kind of operation," Morano said. She held the rig in her right hand, which included a depth-of-field adaptor where she could switch out Nikon camera lenses for different visual effects. With her left hand, she'd manually adjust the focus and aperture. This situation was initially tricky, because it was hard to keep steady, but because the phone is so much smaller than a traditional camera, she was able to get some unique and super-low camera angles she wouldn't normally be able to get.

Since they were using a new technology, Wilde says getting the look, feel, and shots they wanted took some extra time and careful preparation, especially when it came to lens choices.

Wilde isn't the first director to decide to give the iPhone a shot. The 2015 Sundance hit Tangerine was shot entirely on an iPhone 5s; an entire episode of Modern Family was shot using Apple products; and even Kanye West has taken his hand at iPhone filmography.

"I hope this encourages people to get creative on their iPhone and shooting videos," Wilde said of the music video. "For me, it's the first of many, now that we have our team assembled and ready for the next one."

You can check out the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros video for "No Love Like Yours," from the upcoming album PersonA, below.

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