That time we made a music video using nothing but an iPhone 6S Plus and its slow-motion features

Back in December, for the music video competition Captured Australia, one of the participating film makers dropped out rather last minute. I was the man behind the competition, and the artist he was paired with – WA musician Gryff – was one of my favourite entrants. I really wanted to see him stay a part of the project. So, I had an idea – why not work together and do a video anyway, listing Gryff himself (real name Wade Mustoe) as the Director and myself as the cinematographer. And though we had some decent camera equipment on hand – why don’t we do it all on the new iPhone?

The reason? We wanted to film in “slow motion”, and the iPhone 6S Plus records at an impressive 240fps or 120fps, which is not something built in to most cameras, giving us an easy way to achieve our goal. So we shot the wide shots at 120fps – having Wade sit in the corner of the rooftop of the hotel I was staying in, singing along like a chipmunk so we could cut it at the appropriate audio speed. The premise was simple – set the scene, get more tense, more uncomfortable as the song continued. And the result is just that: a simple black and white piece that focuses on Wade’s emotional and powerful lyrics, utilising the phone’s slow motion feature to amplify the content.

In the end, the entire video – which in addition to the 120fps key shot had close ups at 240fps for greater effect – was shot in an hour, and edited over the course of a couple of hours in the hotel using Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s not the best video you’ll ever see, but in context it shows just what you can do in your pocket (in a couple of hours no less…) and how far the technology has come. Watch the result here:

Use of our iPhone 6S Plus was made possible with network support from Telstra.