As evidenced by ARRI, Panavision, and Aaton ceasing production of film cameras, we live in an ever-increasing digital world. More and more filmmakers are choosing to shoot their pictures digitally instead of on traditional film. What may surprise you, however, is that the iPhone is one of those digital cameras that directors are turning to, and it was recently used on a very, very big movie. Seamus McGarvey, the director of photography on Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, recently copped to using the iPhone on the all-star superhero movie. In fact, some of the iPhone shots are actually in the trailer that was recently released. Hit the jump for more [Update: McGarvey says he was misquoted. Hit the jump for an explanation.]
“The beauty of photography or cinema is that you make every choice based on the content at hand. On The Avengers, I did a couple of shots on the iPhone and they are in the movie. In fact, they are in the trailer! I understand that sometimes there is no choice and you have to go for the cheapest option, but if you are limited for choice, you can still make poignant decisions that will affect the look of the film.”
It’s a pretty surprising revelation, but shooting films on the iPhone is actually not a new trend. Oldboy director Park Chan-wook shot his 2011 short film Night Fishing entirely on the iPhone 4. McGarvey didn’t specify which iPhone he used for The Avengers, but I honestly can’t pick out which shots in the trailer were done with the device. I’ll leave that task up to you, faithful readers.
[Update: Here's what McGarvey said about his misquote from The Irish Film & Television Netw0rk:
"I was talking about how up and coming film makers have access to a whole range of new technologies which expand our options as filmmakers. I mentioned that the iPhone and the Canon 5d Mk2 were devices currently used on many Hollywood productions. I used the Canon on some shots on Marvel's The Avengers movie," he stated to THR. "Unfortunately, this was edited to read that I shot some of the film with the iPhone. This is not true."]