Special Edition: Our podcast just reached 100 episodes and we have a special episode. Pioneer mobile filmmaker and the winner of the first prize in the inaugural International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego in 2012 joins us and we embark on a journey about his participation in the history of making movies with iPhones, and smartphones in general.
Michael Koerbel and Anna Elizabeth James got their hands on the iPhone 4 and the new iMovie app on the phone. They decided to run some camera tests, and that led to making a movie that became one of the most inspiring movies shot with iPhone at that time. You may have seen it, Apple Of My Eye, which won first place in our inaugural film festival.
Michael’s film was shot and edited on the iPhone. His partner edited it in the iMovie app. In a car as he drove. How mobile can you go?
They moved on to create a web series and partnered with an app developer to create a unique way to view the series in the app with features that allowed the film to be sent to a large display, receive push notifications for each new episode and interact through gamification. The app was Majek and the web series was called, Goldilocks. They put their phone and sealed it into a plastic bag, and put it into a fish bowl. They strapped the phone on vehicles. They did a lot experimental guerrilla filmmaking with iPhones.
Michael shares how Apple Of My Eye affected him personally and why the title of his movie has a special meaning for him. They didn’t make the the movie, in 2010, to gain attention but when they put it on Vimeo they garnered attention and it helped boost the video platform.
Michael shares why he pays attention to his recordings and how he feels we all have an obligation to what we capture with our cameras. Even if it is easy and accessible.
“I don’t hit record unless I know I want it captured, you know? My heart’s in it.” Michael Koerbel
Michael was inspired by a professor to go to L.A. and attend USC School of Cinematic Arts. It was there that he met many people who are now successful in the film industry today. Ryan Coogler, who held a boom mic in a class is the director of Black Panther.
In this special edition of our podcast, where we celebrate the 100th episode, Michael and I share our connection back in 2011. But also, it led us to discuss our connection to mobile filmmaking because we are passionate about storytelling and how the smartphone camera empowers storytellers and gives everyone a tool to share your voice with the world.
People who have not followed mobile filmmaking since 2010 may appreciate listening to Michael’s account of the days when it all began. Michael played a big part in the success of this “movement” to make movies using iPhones and other smartphones. Michael was invited to a panel in the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) event in Los Angeles by the head of Vimeo back then. The attention he received allowed him to succeed in the industry as a commercial producer and his partner Anna Elizabeth James has written a number of features that have been featured in Netflix.
He met Neill Barham, CEO of Filmic Pro when Neill reached out to film a commercial for a cruise line. He has had a lot of success making high end commercials. It’s inspiring to listen to Michael’s stories about his experiences. After that day he and his filmmaking partner decided to test if you could make a movie with an iPhone and edit it on the phone with iMovie, doors opened up to where he is today.
SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.
You can watch Michael’s films discussed in the podcast right now. Michael is an official mobile filmmaker on Mobile Film Stories.