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The Power of your Pocket: Film and the iPhone 5s

By Karsh Hagan | 

The Power of your Pocket: Film and the iPhone 5s


Apple’s release of their 30th anniversary video was the harbinger of a new era— an era centered on the power of what you already have. The film features aesthetically dazzling scenes—a sunrise through a butterfly’s wings, photographers capturing elephants grazing on the savannah below a sunset. From Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles this video was filmed in a single day—entirely on an iPhone 5s.

Filming on an iPhone 5s is difficult work. It might be more trouble than it’s worth. In addition to the phone itself, you’ll most likely need a mic, a dolly, a tripod, professional lighting, and maybe even a top-tier cinematographer. The same level of control a filmmaker has with a Canon 7D simply isn’t available yet for an iPhone 5s.


Personally, I’m not interested in the quality of films the iPhone produces, simply the possibilities it enables.

It used to be that writers were the most mobile of artists. Armed with merely a pen and a napkin they could capture a moment, an idea, regardless of location. But the geography of the creative world is shifting. In the age of the 4G network, bitcoin and Google glasses, we’re rarely more than inches away from technology that transforms the way we interact with the physical world.

Now you can capture any image visually using a tool 19.8% of Americans already own with the same ease as pen and paper. Cinematic art is accessible like never before.


The final few scenes of the Academy Award nominated documentary Searching for Sugar Man were shot on an iPhone. The filmmakers ran out of funding and an iPhone, along with a $1.99 app, rescued the project. There are now entire film festivals devoted to movies shot with your phone.

Being a filmmaker doesn’t require investors, hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and a crew any longer. All you need is a great idea and your own initiative.

Imagine our world through this lens: the power to create now lies in your pocket—all you need is the drive and the courage to go for it.

Written by Sammie Clifford, Social Media Intern

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