Friday, August 16, 2013

David Lynch And iPhone Film Making

  Today I am please to offer a guest post by iPhone Film maker    SSBelafonte.  If you like this post take a moment and visit him on facebook at

                                David Lynch And iPhone Film Making

It can be argued that creative innovation is born of limitation. David Lynch is, arguably, one of the most innovative filmmakers to have emerged during the twentieth century. As an iPhone filmmaker, I am, inescapably, influenced by the dark genius of David Lynch. Lynch has made some dichomotic statements regarding the use of digital advancements as they apply to filmmaking. Would David Lynch support or decry the burgeoning iPhone filmmaking movement?

(David Lynch's Rubber Duck) Belafonte Neo-Noir Digital Surreal Short Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing from SSBELAFONTE on Vimeo.

As a filmmaker, I utilize the digital video camera of the iPhone 5 to achieve my creative vision because I enjoy the challenge of creating within the imposed boundaries of rigid limitations. Additionally, it’s an astonishingly high quality camera (8-megapixel, HD 1080p at up to 30 frames per second) that is built into a portable device that I always have with me. Perhaps, the most attractive aspect: it didn’t cost thousands upon thousands of dollars.

It has been almost 36 years since the release of Lynch’s first, feature-length film Eraserhead. Lynch made Eraserhead as a student at AFI with a prohibitively small budget. As a result of the financial limitations Lynch, being an Eagle Scout, employed inexpensive materials and methods to create an innovative masterwork. From the use of black & white film to, quite literally, building his own sets, and creating his own soundscapes, Lynch’s innovations were a means of circumventing limitations.

While promoting his latest feature-length film, Inland Empire (filmed with DV), in 2008 Lynch expressed his distain for the iPhone as component of cinema:

Now if you’re playing the movie on a telephone

you will never, in a trillion years experience the film.

You’ll think you’ll have experienced it, but you’ll be cheating.

It’s a, such a sadness that you think you’ve

seen a film on your fucking telephone. Get real.

David Lynch on digital video versus film at AFI in 2010:

And we did tests, um, ah, to bump up to high-def from

the low quality DV that I was shooting. And then tests from

high-def to film. And I loved the quality, and I think what

I loved about it was it’s not film. And you know,

the advances in film, everything is very very crisp.

I mean you can make it soft if you want but its, its got

a – film is so beautiful. But it used to be, in the 30’s less quality.

And this new, this DV that I was shooting reminded me of that.

So it’s just, some information is lost and it made me

feel like there was more room to dream, and I liked that aspect.

  (David Lynch’s Louboutins) was inspired by the print ads that Lynch created for Christian Louboutin; filmed exclusively with the iPhone 5 camera, in the vain of David Lynch, and edited in iMovie. It is intended as a contemplation of the deeper story line of the femme-fatales within the ads. When filming with the iPhone 5 camera lighting is the most important variable. Beautiful cinematography can be created, even in low light conditions, if the shot is properly lit. To achieve the cinematography you see I worked backwards in terms of lighting, filming at night in complete darkness, incrementally adding low-light sources (simple flashlights): simple innovation from limitation.

  Lynch has made it inescapably clear that he doesn’t want us watching films on the iPhone. I am, largely, in support of this conclusion. However, if you’re going to watch Lost Highway on your iPhone or not watch it at all, the world becomes a better place if you have see it. However, as a means of capturing images Lynch has expressed support for DV, and specifically low-fi DV. The iPhone filmmaker utilizes their iPhone, creatively, out of limitation. On can argue that innovation has thus occurred allowing the iPhone filmmaker more room to dream. If David Lynch has taught us anything, it’s that: anything is possible In Dreams.

(David Lynch's Louboutins) Belafonte Neo-Noir Digital Surreal Short Move Along from SSBELAFONTE on Vimeo.

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