Smart Phone Film Shoots for Feature Films and Shorts

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Smart Phone Film Shoots for Feature Films and Shorts
The inexpensive Film Equipment needed to shoot your movie now. 

Many beginner and emerging filmmakers believe they do not have access to the film equipment needed to make a film.  They believe it is too expensive and they do not know what they need. 

Most beginner or emerging filmmakers sometimes put off making their film for this reason. Back in the 80s and 90s this was a challenging part of the filmmaking process. Making Micro-budget films back then was a costly affair. Not anymore. 

Today you can buy an inexpensive kit of film equipment and be out shooting your film in the next few months. You can, as long as you get the basic essentials outlined in this post. 

Today, I will focus on Smart Phone Shoots. 

The reason is that they are the easiest and cheapest film shoots and recently the results have been spectacular.

When people enrol on our amazing Flagship Filmmakers Program, we always encourage them to go this way so they can get started immeadiatley. 

So here it goes: 

If you have an advanced iPhone 14 or 15 or Samsung Phone, they now have exceptionally good cameras. This is your camera and there really is no good reason for you to purchase expensive Black Magic kits or Red Cameras.

I currently have the iPhone 14 with a 1000GB of Data space. This is plenty of data space for shooting your film. Many of you may only have 500 Gb. If so, the next time you get a phone, make sure you get 1000GB of data space. 

At the end of the shooting day, you export the film clips shot that day to your portable external SSD Drive.

You can buy external SSD drives from any Officeworks or computer shop. You use a cable to attach to your desktop or laptop computer and save the data on the external drive for editing later.  Then you delete the footage on your iPhone and free up space for the next day’s shooting. 

Step 1 Get and portable external SSD Drive with 4TB

Cost so far “The budget” 

  • iPhone 14 or 15 or a recent Samsung phone 
  • Portable external SSD Drive.  $80 

You will need to set your Smartphone camera to 4K Pro Res in the Settings so you can shoot film quality footage. All the recent phones have this.

Shooting with a Smart Phone Camera will require a professional app.

The two I recommend are Filmic Pro.  Expensive if you have money to spend or if you are on a budget, I highly recommend the 
Cinema P3 Professional App which is very inexpensive $20. 
It is also an exceptional and professional app for shooting your films.

You will need stabilisers for your phone Smart Phone Camera.  

  1. Rimposky 170cm Camera Tripod for iPhone, Cell Phone Tripod with Remote, It costs A $41 online.  It’s height is 1.70 meters   or 5 Foot 5′  so it will be great for when you are shooting dialogue scenes or you want a stable extreme wide shot or master.

I bought it on Amazon, and it was delivered next day. There are many other tripods for Mobile phone cameras. Make sure they have a spirit level and 360 Pan and Tilt.   

Mini Hand Holder Stabiliser for Mobile Phone Cameras $40  

An Ozmo or Gimble will give you Steadicam style movement with your camera. Very useful for low budget films. $170 

Camera Bag for all the gear or you can use your own system or backpack $40

So far so good. Here is an update on the equipment budget 

Cost so far “The budget”  

  1. iPhone or Samsung that you have. 
  2. External Hard Drive $90 
  3. Camera Tripod $41 
  4. Mini Hand Holder Stabiliser $40 
  5. Ozmo $170
  6. Camera Bag $40

Total $ 381 

                Sound for your Film Equipment

It is absolutely essential that you get professional location sound for your film. The equipment that I recommend here will do the job and it is so inexpensive compared to a decade ago.  Here goes.  

Rode Wireless Go 11 Dual Compact Wireless Microphone System.   


This system should contain two Transmitters and one Receiver and two Lapel Mics. 

  • For a doco or travel video just get one set of the above. 
  • For a Feature Film or Short Films make sure that you get two sets of the above and that way you can mic four actors. 
  • $289 per Rode Go 11 Set x 2 = $578
  • 2 Lapel Mics  = $70 for s Set   
  • Get two sets. That will contain 4 Lapel Mics   = $140 

Total Cost Sound so far = $ 718 

The above is perfect for Smart Phone Shoots. This keeps the sound job simple, inexpensive and professional.  You will get good solid on-mic location sound on every actor who has a mic on them. 

Now for a Boom and a Shotgun Microphone.  

Here the best value best quality way to get On Set Atmospheres and get a Boom mic Sound on your actors when you are doing close ups. 

Comica CVM-VM30 2.4G Super Cardioid Condenser Wireless Shotgun Microphone 

This is for Cameras or Smartphone, and PC with 75/150Hz, Super-Cardioid Universal Microphone for Filmmakers,

The best part is it is wireless, and it sends the sound to a receiver which is included in the kit. 

It is only A$285 


Wind Sock   $14 

Foam Sock  $12  

Boom Pole 300 Centimetres (10 foot)  Model Neewer    $85   (On Amazon for this price)    

Summary and the Best Strategy: 

With the above equipment, you will be able to shoot your micro-budget Feature Film or Short Film with available light. 

In next week’s article we will explore lighting kits and the best value lighting kits. This is for those of you who want to light your sets. I would advise that you learn how to light your film sets from our Flagship Micro Budget Filmmakers Masterclass and Coaching Program.  

Basic Micro-Budget Film Equipment Budget:  For Shooting 

  1. iPhone or Samsung that you have. 
  2. External SD Drive                          $90 
  3. Camera Tripod                               $41 
  4. Mini Hand Holder Stabiliser            $40 
  5. Ozmo                                             $170
  6. Camera Bag                                   $40 
  7. Sound total Lapels Mics and Rode Transmitter Receiver = $ 718 
  8. Cardioid Condenser Wireless Shotgun Microphone with sound transmitted to Receiver Recorder   $285
  9. Boom Pole                                      $ 85 
  10. Windsock and Foam Sock               $ 26

Total Film Equipment Budget                $1495

Most people will be able to finance $1495 of Gear. This is all of you need to make films right now. 

It really is amazing that you can shoot a film with such a cheap investment in film gear. Yes, you are relying on available light with exterior or interior locations. Many movies over the years have made this their style. They shoot using available light. 

You will also need the Flagship Micro-Budget Filmmaking Masterclass and Coaching  Program, so that you know how to use the equipment. You need to know how to make a film, cast a film, write a script and edit the film. 

Without the Flagship Micro Budget Filmmakers Masterclass and Coaching Program, you will only have one side of the equation.  You will need the training and the best is available now. 

To Enrol 


The Most Important Factor in shooting your short films and feature films is that you shoot them with the same detail as a big budget shoot. 

Smart Phone Camera Shoots are still the same as shooting with a Black Magic Camera or a Red Camera   All Filmmaking Skills are needed when making any film short or long, Whether it is micro-budget film or big budget film, you will need to know how to make a film. 

This applies to Smart Phone Camera Shoots and you the filmmaker will need the following. 

  1. A great screenplay 
  2. Really Good Casting 
  3. A small Crew 
  4. Filmic Locations 
  5. Production Design 
  6. Makeup 
  7. Great Preproduction 
  8. An organised film shoot on location.
  9. Amazing Postproduction 
  10. How to find your audience.

To do this and learn how to do the above, make sure that you enrol on our Flagship Filmmakers Masterclass and One on One Coaching Program 

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Colm O'Murchu - Host

Colm O’Murchu is a passionate Indie Filmmaker and owner of the production company, International Film Base. He has directed and produced three successfully released feature films worldwide and one documentary.  

His most recent film Tabernacle 101 has been released in 2019 in the US and will be released in Australia in late 2020 premiering at the Sci Fi Film Festival. He is currently in development on his next feature film Absolute Freedom, an action adventure film set in the outback.

He has spoken at Indie Film Seminars all over the world and created online and offline film courses 

 He lives in the Blue Mountains NSW Australia and loves the outdoors and the mountains.

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