BRENDAN Kelleher is a man on a mission. Through some help from YouTube tutorials and a lot of imagination, he has made a short film entirely on his iPhone.
The Millstreet man, who has no formal training in filmmaking, has taken acting classes over the years and put his talents to the test by adding scriptwriting, directing, and editing. He is proud to be self-taught and hopes to inspire others to follow suit.
“Filmmakers use a lot of expensive equipment and not everyone has access to that when they are starting out,” says Brendan.
“I was thinking about how the iPhone has a really good camera and with a few apps, you can turn it into a great movie camera.
“Some apps allow you to adjust different settings, like colour contrast, and to improve the picture quality of your camera and I decided to give it a try.”
Kelleher took inspiration from big name directors like Zack Snyder and Steven Soderbergh who have used iPhones to make films.
With the idea in place, he set out to make his film, Underfire, which pits an Irish James Bond type against an unseen big bad.
“I had an idea, started writing the screenplay and then waited for good weather. One Sunday morning the weather was perfect and I set out to film as much of the footage as I possibly could.”
With that captured, Kelleher brought in the big guns, literally. His short film sees Kelleher’s character face off against more than one war machine, one of which is an attack helicopter.
“I signed up to a subscription service for special effects. They create the effects and it is up to you to decide how you incorporate them. It is a great service, but hard work bringing it all together. I enjoyed doing it. I used the internet to research techniques and YouTube was very helpful. There is a lot of advice out there which makes it easier.
“There weren’t as many opportunities for actors or filmmakers 20 years ago, but now there are so many resources.”
Kelleher, who has always been interested in film, hopes this project will inspire others to make high-quality films with inexpensive technology.
“I just wanted to prove you can make a high-quality production by yourself and on a budget. Hopefully other filmmakers will see this and want to collaborate. I would love to go into film-making full time, hopefully this short will be the start of something bigger.”
For the last three years, the Fastnet Film Festival has been encouraging filmmakers to take up their phones and start filming by hosting a practical workshop, presented by Neil Leyden, head of RTÉ’s web content. Hilary McCarthy, festival director and head of communications, says advances in technology have led to a new way of filmmaking.
“As mobile phones have become more like mini media centres, making short films on your phone or tablet has become incredibly popular,” she said.
McCarthy says the workshop is geared to take budding filmmakers through the basics.
“It runs through preparing, shooting and editing short films on your smartphone. All you need do is download free software such as ‘Clips’ or iMovie or any of the numerous apps”.
She says now, more than ever, is a great time to get to grips with your inner filmmaker.
“Mobile filmmaking is a great way of experimenting, using your creativity and imagination during the lockdown.”
- See the film at https://youtu.be/jn8MjXB1C9I