It’s quite mind-boggling how far the modern technology has advanced over time. Only 10 years ago we were barely able to shoot any pictures with our mobile phones, now we are carrying true filmmaking tools in our pockets providing staggering video functionality and image quality unseen before. Sure, you still have to use some rigs in conjunction with these devices to get some professional looking footage and to make them work out in the wild, but now the goal is more achievable and possible than ever before.
Only a couple of weeks after Apple announced the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the first short film shot exclusively on these smartphones is already a fact. The documentary is called “The Painter of Jalouzi” and it tells the story of a painter in Jalouzi, one of the largest slums in Haiti, whose personal goal is to bring a splash of colour to live there by literally painting the entire town.
Believing that colour has the power to transform his community, he’s helping to paint everywhere by mobilising citizens of all ages, determined to turn the grey town into a rainbow full of colour to lead the way to a brighter Haiti. Ahead is the short film itself.
The documentary was put together in only a couple of days by RYOT’s co-founder David Darg and his collaborator Bryn Mooser. Both filmmakers visited Jalouzi numerous times in the span of the 3 years, they even lived in Haiti as humanitarian aid workers after the quake.
Poverty: Jalousie in Colours was part of a government project to relocate people from the overcrowded displacement camps that popped up after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. Once the funding dried up, a painter who lived in Jalouzi, Duval Pierre, took it upon himself to finish what was started, recruiting kids in the neighborhood to help.
Both filmmakers were quite inspired by Duval’s story and they simply wanted to share it with the world so they’ve decided to utilise the video functionality of the latest iPhone, thus capturing the visually impacting beauty of Jalouzi. Here’s how they’ve managed to pull the shooting off.
As we can see, a handful of filmmaking tools were utilised along with the iPhone 6S and 6S+ such as a custom rig for the devices themselves, a pistol-grip gimbal stabilizer, a drone and a couple of high-quality manual lenses. But as Darg says “When we look at the film now, even we are surprised at how good it came out considering it was shot on, well, a telephone”.
All in all, this documentary is another proof that when you are really talented, passionate and determined in the success of your project and have a great story to tell, the tools that you are using doesn’t matter that much at all and you absolutely don’t need the most expensive equipment or a fancy camera to bring your story to live in the most creative, immersive and inspiring way you are capable of.