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SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking

May 2020

Making Films Underwater with iPhones with Tom F. Pardo

May 26, 2020

A filmmaker is not simply someone who shoots a film and shares it. A filmmaker delivers a finished film through an entire process. Most good stories in film are a challenge that can bring out the best in a filmmaker and the result lies in the final film.

Tom F. Pardo is our guest in the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking episode 81. His film, “Submerged” won First Prize in the Short Film Competition at the 2020 International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego in April.

Tom made his film using the iPhone 8’s camera in his home town, Nice, France. You could say, he hit the ground running with his first film but he took his story, and his phone, from the ground to the ocean. Shooting a film underwater has its challenges. When you are not sure about what you are doing, it can be easy to give up when things don’t go your way at first. It’s easy to think that since you don’t have much invested, quitting early is an easy way to avoid disaster.

However, making movies with a smartphone or any camera is best for someone who can meet challenges head on. One of the virtues of filmmaking that many people don’t understand is the why. Why would someone make a film in the first place? Why would someone put so much effort in something they are not even sure if it will work out?

The answer to these questions will come after you listen to Tom F. Pardo share his experience in the making of his mesmerizing film. “Submerged,” brings the viewer into the world of the character, played by Eva André, head first. As she then dives, into the ocean the world changes. And the viewer is delivered into the experience as well as the protagonist. The film runs under five minutes.

Tom wrote, produced, directed, shot and edited the film. Some underwater cinematography was accomplished by Gilles Gambini.

SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones. 

Watch Tom F. Pardo’s First Prize Awarded Film, Submerged:

Links Tom mentioned during this episode of the SBP Podcast :

The original score from Gavin Brivik website:

Julie Gautier’s films that inspired Tom:

Follow Tom F. Pardo online:




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Special Credit to Jamiel Laurence from IMFF 2020 for his audio testimonial featured in this episode:

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