Avengers Cinematographer Shot A Few Scenes On An iPhone 4
Whenever a new iPhone comes out, people rush to have the first music video or short film shot entirely on its camera. But it?s not often you hear about a big-time Hollywood production using this kind of device for anything other than behind-the-scenes stuff. Yet in an interview with IFTN, the cinematographer for The Avengers, Seamus McGarvey, admits he supplemented their more professional camera setup with a few shots from the iPhone 4.
Don?t get too excited, though: it?s not like they had it on the helicopter rig or they?re using it for serious effects shots. The benefit of the iPhone 4 is that it?s compact and easy to operate. McGarvey says that a couple of the shots are even in the trailer, and I think I?ve picked them out. I highlight them not because I love the iPhone so much, but to explore how a device like this could possibly fit into a multi-million dollar shooting schedule. Also, it?s Friday.
You can?t use an iPhone for things where the lighting is complicated, where you need lots of crop space or extra resolution (effects shots and aerials), or where there?s any kind of real action or camera movement (the amount of skew from a small sensor like the iPhone?s will be really obvious on the big screen). Take those away and what do you have?
First is this shot of Thor:
Low to the ground and very simply exposed, plus there?s a ton of glare and lens flare. Plus the framerate is wonky, which suggests they just halved it to make it slow-motion. McGarvey had probably set up for some other shots, but thought a shot like this might be good to cut in and didn?t want to set up a whole new low-level dolly, or maybe they didn?t bring the lens for it. A quick shot like this won?t show flaws (detail is obscured by glare and exposure and movement is minimal), and it probably only took a couple minutes to get right.
Next is this explosion shot:
When you shoot explosions like this, you usually have several cameras to capture it from multiple angles, or the same angle with different framerates