Lights, Camera, Action: iPhone 4 Video, Ready For Its Close-Up

It use to be film-makers needed expensive and cumbersome digital cameras to produce high quality music videos, movie shorts and commercials. Of recent date, light-weight and reasonably-priced hand-helds like the Flip have become a more suitable replacement. But today, instead of using one-trick ponies, the iPhone 4 is earning just as much of a reputation as a video camera as it  has acting like, well… a phone.

When the preliminary hype that preceded the iPhone 4 launch hit, we were told that the new iPhone 4 would have HD video and editing capabilities. What turned out to be a surprise within the first few days of the product being available to the public, was the production of two very unique video releases shot solely by iPhones.

Marty Martin's music video of Flakjakt's original tune "Cascade" filmed entirely on the iPhone 4 took over a day to shoot and 40 hours to edit. With a $30 car mount (originally used with their iPhone 3GS) retrofitted for the iPhone 4, Martin used the jerry-rig as a knockoff steadicam and tripod for various shots.

The end result was a quality music video one would expect to have been produced by a major music studio.

The editing for this feature used Final Cut Pro, After Effects and Garageband to integrate the special effects and lay down the musical track. The music video and song will be available on iTunes in the next couple of weeks.

Marty Martin who is a professional and award-winning director of photography has produced a good number of viral spots, commercials and video campaigns in the past using traditional equipment such as a Canon digital camera with 35mm adapters to capture flim-like depth. This was his "first go" with the iPhone 4 and was most pleased with the high level of production he was able to obtain.

Michael KoerbelMichael KoerbelDiffering slightly from Marty Martin and Flakjakt's approach, "Apple of My Eye," directed by Michael Koerbel and produced by Majek Pictures not only shot their entire production on the iPhone 4, they also edited it using Apple's new iMovie app available at their App Store for $4.99

As another multi-tasking feature, the iPhone 4's capability to record and edit using one deviceShooting 'Apple of My Eye'Shooting 'Apple of My Eye' is a remarkable enhancement for this Apple device. So for their production, Majek Pictures was able to skip the desktop, making it possible to integrate their artistic edits before uploading the final version to YouTube and Facebook. Here is the whimsical, nostalgic production they were able to complete for $103, start to finish

Now what does this mean for the video producing world, at large? I think instead of buying one-off devices like Flip for video production and say, Kindle for eBook reading, more users are going to find the value-add of buying an iPhone greater, because it can be used for a number of  functions. As a result, I believe the iPhone has the potential to overtake the pocket video camera world.

Who would have thought just a year ago, you would be able to create a high-quality music video, commercial or movie short with your phone? Just add talent, good lighting, a stable shooting platform and you're in business - see you at the movies!