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Movies, short films, documentary shot on mobile phones

Movies, short films, documentary shot on mobile phone

Movie makers, directors and cinematographers are edging towards filming on smartphones for TV, movies, music videos and commercials. With the development of very good quality mobile phone cameras that has gotten better and better with time.

You can shoot anything with your smartphone and edit using phone apps or other options, you’ll need plenty of light where needed, a separate microphone and tripods to avoid shaky footages. Shooting with a mobile phone takes away a lot of production headache, the weight lifting of heavy equipment and lens changing.

Nevertheless, you have to be skilled and have passion for it to make it work.

There are a number of successful full-length films that have been shot using mobile phones you didn’t know about

SMS Sugar Man

Before iPhone was released, production of 2008’s SMS Sugar Man already started with Sony’s Ericsson W900i making it the first full length film to be shot on a mobile phone

The South African movie was the first full length film shot on a mobile phone, it was less great with very low quality unlike camera phones of today that can be equaled to an actual camera


NBC’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

An episode shot entirely on the new Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone was aired, it was a never before spin on a show’s production. It showed Fallon perform and interview his guests around different locations in New York which was different from his typical desk interviews.

We could say it was a good marketing gimmick too because it gave Samsung the opportunity to display the Samsung Galaxy S10+’s features.

Romance in NYC

Film maker, Tristan Pope shot this film on his iPhone 6 and according to him it was a freeing experience. They were able to shoot just anywhere, “We were able to shoot in many heavily populated locations such as the subway, clothing stores and restaurants,”

He stated that shooting on the iPhone created a ‘bubble’ and the actress to work within, focusing more on the story than the technical aspects of it all.

Dancers of New York

Another film by Tristan Pope was shot entirely on an iPhone 6 which shows his love for iPhone photography.  On his website, he noted that “Overall this thing shot like a beast, capturing what would otherwise be impossible via small corners, angles, and discrete shots in popular locations. As a photographer, when you carry around a DSLR with a 200-400 lens on your camera and put down a tripod, you can guarantee the cops will want to ‘chat,’ with a phone, they are more or less confused why you have it on a tripod, and usually just walk off mumbling something about hipsters.”


This was shot on an iPhone 5s camera and directed by Sean Baker, the movie fetched several awards and debuted at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it got more attention than any other smartphone-shot movie before it.

How did the director make it work? He used an anamorphic lens attachment and a $8 photography app

 9 Rides

The filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry shot “9 Rides” on an iPhone 6 in 4K resolution. The movie was played at the SXSW Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival.

John Legend’s ‘A Good Night’

The music videos filmed on Google Pixel 2’s camera was definitely used in a perfect spectacular way for its night club-setting. You would never believe it was shot using a mobile phone because of the high-quality production. It’s a thumbs up

Eminem’s ‘Venom’  

Eminem’s song “Venom,” was shot on google Pixel 3. This happened as a collaboration between Google and Jimmy Kimmel Live show to present the music video on the empire state building.


Shot by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh on iPhone 7s

High Flying Bird

Same filmmaker as “unsane” but this time using an iPhone 8. It was a better and brighter improvement from the iPhone 7

Searching for Sugar Man

While documenting the legend of a 1970s rock-and-roll artist, the director Malik Bendjelloul ran out of 8mm film, but thanks to the $1.99 iPhone app called 8mm Vintage Camera he was able to finish the shoot

The documentary in 2013 won an Academy Awards for the Best Feature Documentary

I Play with the Phrase Each Other

Unbelievably shot on iPhone and hard to detect Since the whole movie is in black and white

Snow, Steam, Iron

Zack Snyder, a director of several big blusters released this 4-minute short film shot on an iPhone 7+. He made use of 2 iPhones.


The film was shot on a Nokia N8 by Hooman Khalili. The film cost half a million but was never acquired distribution

 Saudi Runaway

A film shot on 2 smartphones was purchased by the company National Geographic Documentary Films.


Muna, the subject of the film, filmed the story herself sometimes assisted by director Susanne Regina Meures from April to June 2019, using the two smartphones mostly as hidden cameras.

with the latest development in camera, its qualities and features, more people will be leaving the technicalities of heavy machineries and going for the smartphones which is indeed wise.

Mobile phones have gone from having just 1 camera to 2-5 cameras, light and better microphone and with them being very easy to use it might just be the future and new way to film making



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