iPhone 14 Pro Movie by David Ma, PINCH – COOL HUNTING®

Food artist, culinary filmmaker and director david ma has created a moving and cinematic short film using Apple iPhone 14 Pro. In just over a minute, PINCH tells the story of two crustaceans, a king crab and a horseshoe crab, who fight for dominance. The sizes and movements of the animals, close-ups of their claws, and the steaming surface of the water combine to create a dramatic film that pays homage to the Kaiju movies. A Japanese science fiction genre that focuses on giant fantasy monsters, Kaiju (meaning “strange beast”) movies often depict destruction and battles that serve as metaphors. “The way these filmmakers shot miniatures with specific lenses and angles sold the realism of these ‘giant monsters’ destroying our cities,” Ma tells us. “I also shot many of the subjects from below, having them stand up and control the frame. Guillermo del Toro did this a lot in Pacific Rim and Michael Bay uses this technique to make the transformers/buildings/explosions appear larger than life.”

Ma and her team worked with Aqua Best NYC fishmonger Steven Wong to source the crabs and built the set inside a 70-gallon aquarium. “I love building worlds on camera and taking something familiar and changing how it is perceived by audiences,” says Ma. “This project was especially interesting to me because it combined miniature scenery, puppetry, practical effects, and dynamic camerawork. In trying to achieve so much on camera without the use of CGI, it was an ambitious undertaking that relied less on expensive camera equipment and more on ingenuity and creative problem solving.”

Shooting the entire movie on an iPhone is quite a feat, but it was also an adventure for Ma to explore the possibilities of the device. “What I enjoyed most about this project was the creative freedom and the ability to run the idea with a few friends and the iPhone14, which packs pro-level features into its revamped camera,” she says. “A new feature of the iPhone 14 that I used was the Action mode. I was excited to use stabilization without the use of a gimbal. As we followed the creatures through the water, the action mode provided smooth movement and an element of grace in a couple of necessary shots.”

He continues: “I also explore macro mode when photographing the creatures. The crustaceans have such interesting color and texture to their outer shells and the macro mode was able to capture those details beautifully. Narratively, the series of macros teased the dark appearance of the creatures and built anticipation before their full reveal to the audience. Thinking about the world around these creatures, I integrated several different textures (black sand, driftwood, rocks) and pops of color into the plant life, allowing Phone 14’s processors to record the image with clarity and vibrancy. We were also able to dive with the device in a couple of scenes, which helped us dive in and out of the surface.”

While Ma is a pro and has years of experience shooting movies, she ensures that making your own high-quality movie on an iPhone 14 isn’t as daunting as one might assume, and offers plenty of helpful advice for those who are sharp and curious. . “As always, spend time crafting the story first and foremost,” she says. “Once you have the story and the different points of the arc, you can use the framing and lighting of each shot to convey whatever emotion you’re trying to evoke in the audience. Don’t feel restricted to filming inside a studio or in her home. Get out into the world and film in unique and interesting locations. Use Action mode to add movement and energy to your shots. Because the phone is quite lightweight, it allows you to move dynamically with the action on the screen without sacrificing stability. And at 240 FPS, use iPhone slow motion to add drama or highlight the visual importance of a particular scene.”

Behind-the-scenes photos of David Ma PINCHcourtesy of the artist

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