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IPhone -South Korean Director Shoots Horror Movie on iPhone 4

January 12, 2011

South Korean Director Shoots Horror Movie on iPhone 4

By Tammy Wolf
TMCnet Copy Editor

It was lights, camera, action recently for the iPhone 4, as a renowned film director in South Korea has released a fantasy-horror film shot entirely on the smartphone device.


Best known for the production of movies “Oldboy” and “Mother,” Director Park Chan-wook filmed the 30-minute film, entitled “Paranmanjang” (or “Ups and Downs”), as part of a promotion for telecommunications provider Korea Telecom. Quite the cheerleader for the iPhone (News - Alert) 4, Korea Telecom held a film festival last year in the device’s honor, where local directors showed off their short films, all produced on the iPhone, of course.  

Chan-wook, with the help of younger brother and director, Park Chan-kyong, followed all the same protocols and creative steps to produce the film, which cost only $130,000 to make. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chan-wook confirmed to reporters: "We went through all the same film-making processes except that the camera was small. From hunting for a film location, shooting auditions, to doing a documentary on the filming process, everything was shot with the iPhone 4.”

Even with the limitations of a smaller and less advanced device as the iPhone, as compared to a normal camera used to produce a movie, “Paranmanjang” still captures the essence of a titillating, suspenseful horror film. According to an NPR (News - Alert) article, the film is about a man “transcending his current and former lives.” An accident entanglement during a night fishing session leads the man to think the woman he caught is dead, however, she turns on him by strangling him. He awakes to find they have switched clothes – and, the woman is calling him “father.”

So, what’s it like to film with an iPhone as opposed to a normal camera? According to Chan-wook, filming was made easier because the iPhone is “light and small and became anyone can use it.” Directors also attached lenses to their phones, while several cameras were used, thus creating more variety in terms of edits and angles. Night scenes were filmed in black and white to adjust to the limitations of the iPhone’s video recorder.

"There are some good points of making a movie with the iPhone as there are many people around the world who like to play and have fun with them," Chan-wook said.

Seems like there were more “ups” than “downs” for the production of film, which is to be released Jan. 27.

The iPhone 4 may have more a chance to be utilized as a cinematic method with its upcoming release on the Verizon Wireless (News - Alert) network, as reported by TMCnet.


Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper's website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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