Director Michel Gondry Makes a Charming Film on His iPhone, Proving That We Could Be Making Movies, Not Taking Selfies

What’s direc­tor Michel Gondry up to these days? Appar­ent­ly, try­ing to show that you can do smart things–like make seri­ous movies–with that smart­phone in your pock­et. The direc­tor of Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind and the Noam Chom­sky ani­mat­ed doc­u­men­tary Is the Man Who Is Tall Hap­py? has just released “Détour,” a short film shot pure­ly on his iPhone 7 Plus. Sub­ti­tled in Eng­lish, “Détour” runs about 12 min­utes and fol­lows “the adven­tures of a small tri­cy­cle as it sets off along French roads in search of its young own­er.” Watch it, then ask your­self, was this real­ly not made with a tra­di­tion­al cam­era? And then ask your­self, what’s my excuse for not get­ting out there and mak­ing movies?

Accord­ing to Europe 1, the film took about two weeks to make, dur­ing which Gondry used the video soft­ware Filmic Pro, which costs $14.99 in Apple’s app store.

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Relat­ed Con­tent

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French Film­mak­er Michel Gondry Cre­ates a Steamy New Music Video for The White Stripes

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Comments (8)
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  • James Morrison says:

    This is won­der­ful. For the record, the 2014 film, And Uneasy Likes the Mind was the first fea­ture to be shot entire­ly on an iPhone, by Director/Producer/Cinematographer Ricky Fos­heim

  • Patrick Synnott says:

    Well peo­ple were shoot­ing films on mobile phones before Ricky- the base of the arti­cle is that it is the 1st major movie direc­tor to have pro­duced a project sole­ly using an iPhone 7. Where­as Ricky is an unknown film­mak­er out­side of a small-niche audi­ence.

  • Brian Dzyak says:

    It is real­ly great, but while the video files may have been acquired with an iPhone, clear­ly there was more going on with Sound and VFX.

    One of the truths of film­mak­ing is that audi­ences will for­give a bad pic­ture (ie Blair Witch Project) but they are unfor­giv­ing when it comes to sound. This iPhone movie sound­ed great, which means he had to have mic’d his tal­ent tra­di­tion­al­ly and not relied on the built-in mic. And of course the final sound­track was rich with crisp dia­logue, fx, and music.

    The video qual­i­ty was pret­ty good all things con­sid­ered. I was expect­ing this to be some­thing he ran out to shoot all on his own, but the final cred­its betray the truth. Which begs the ques­tion… if you’re going to put that much effort into every oth­er ele­ment of a movie, why not just use a high­er qual­i­ty cam­era?

  • Jon says:

    I’ve been encour­ag­ing young peo­ple (via work­shops and after school clubs) to get more cre­ative with their phones and tablets. Pho­tog­ra­phy, film and ani­ma­tion are the main ones but pod­cast­ing and now live broad­cast­ing are pop­u­lar.

    Gondry’s film, from my per­spec­tive, is a great advert for the phone as a viable option for mak­ing movies. I advo­cate the iPad as a device for cap­tur­ing, edit­ing and shar­ing but in real­i­ty I also use my lap­top for edit­ing as it gives me more options.

    I agree that the post pro­duc­tion almost makes the use of the iPhone as a cam­era a non­sense — I would love to have seen him work with­in the con­straints of only using the iPad the cre­ate the film, as well as titles and music.

    I’m cur­rent­ly work­ing on a project with oth­er artists to do just that, using a sin­gle iPad which will be passed from one artist to anoth­er. Watch this space – on Twit­ter I’m @OnTheSuperFly

  • Richard Speedie says:

    As Bri­an says, the sound was def­i­nite­ly record­ed off cam­era. It’s also worth point­ing out that whilst the iPhone is the cam­era;
    a tri­pod was used
    most like­ly a DJO Osmo Mobile for steadicam type shots
    Post pro­duc­tion in a pro­fes­sion­al edit­ing pack­age
    Top Colour cor­rec­tion, prob­a­bly in Davin­ci Resolve
    and last­ly and most impor­tant­ly, a great deal of expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge in film mak­ing

    So yes, an iPhone 7 but it’s such a small part of the equa­tion.

  • CharlieB says:

    I agree with all the above com­ments. If one under­stands the film­mak­ing process the real­i­ty is more than meets the eye.
    The gim­mick was to sell the film (via a plug/sponsorship with Apple) and hype up the indie/guerrilla process of the mak­ing, but the real­i­ty is the actu­al pro­duc­tion costs and post-pro­duc­tion bud­get would’ve made the com­plete bud­get in excess of over $100k Euros.

  • Deen says:

    This direc­tor is like so late to film on hand­held device. I Shot a short film on android, edit­ed, no vfx and sound twitch­es. That was for the 2015 48hour this is him copy­ing me essen­tial­ly

  • Sam Konor says:

    A very inter­est­ing short film. Such an adven­ture of a chil­dren’s bike, with a change of own­er. It was even a lit­tle sad when the girl was bought a new, suit­able bike for her age. Super!

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