South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook — the director of 2003?s critically acclaimed Oldboy — says his new film was shot entirely on the iPhone.
The fantasy-horror film Paranmanjang, which means “life full of ups and downs” in Korean, is about half an hour long, and was made on a budget of 150 million won ($133,000). According to the Associated Press, Park says the iPhone’s small size and light weight, as well as the fact that “anyone can use it,” made it a good tool. His brother, Park Chan-kyong — also a director who collaborated on the film — says a wide variety of camera angles and edits were possible because a number of cameras could be used.
Park Chan-wook is one of the best-known filmmakers in South Korea, where his iPhone-directed film is set to hit theaters on January 27. In addition to helming the previously mentioned Oldboy, he also directed “Cut” in the horror collaboration Three… Extremes, as well as longer films like Lady Vengeance and Thirst.
Park is not the first South Korean filmmaker to shoot a project with the iPhone 4. As The Wall Street Journal points out, KT Corp. — the iPhone distributor in South Korea — sponsored a film festival, featuring 12 short movies made with the iPhone 4, last October. KT Corp. also helped with some of the production costs for Paranmanjang.
The practice of using phones to shoot videos — other than home movies uploaded to YouTube — seems to have become a bit of a trend in recent months. The iPhone 4 has been used to shoot music videos, while generally striking a chord with those who do not have access to big budgets. Meanwhile, the Nokia N8 was used to shoot The Commuter, a seven-and-a-half minute flick starring Dev Patel and Pamela Anderson. It will be interesting to see what effect such efforts will have on both mainstream and independent filmmaking in the future.