It always happens this way.
Indie filmmakers, low-budget filmmakers utilize a technology with little notice (often for years) and eventually the mainstream catches on - typically by a well-known or A-List person or company embracing it.
Then everyone thinks it's okay or even cool (which IS pretty cool in the end).
Two things related to us worked this way for sure. First, a platform: YouTube.
We've been involved with YouTube pretty much since it's inception. Not the iPhoneographers show, it started in 2012. But the filmmakers behind it. Blake Calhoun specifically. He was an early adopter of YouTube and created one of the first dramatic web series (in 2007) to garner a decent following and audience. That show was called "Pink". Blake won Best Director at the inaugural Streamy Awards in 2009 for the show.
Back then YouTube was looked upon as the "minor leagues". Junior Varsity. Not top of the game for sure. And in a lot of ways that was true (lots of skateboard and cat videos back then).
Things changed as people like Felicia Day took web series more mainstream (The Guild).
Along with many others like the Fine Brothers, Hank Green, Grace Helbig, etc. to today where A-List celebs like The Rock and Will Smith have YouTube channels.
Today YouTube is mainstream in many respects and lots of "influencers" (hate that word) are making A-List type money and have large followings - often bigger than movie stars. Btw, we definitely prefer the word YouTubers. But we digress...
Second thing related to us: Filmmaking Technology.
Back in the late 90s Mini DV arrived on the scene and most professionals thought it was awful. And in the beginning, it wasn't great. However, indie filmmakers embraced it quickly. Before then you'd have to spend literally tens of thousands of dollars on Beta SP type cameras to get similar quality (although at the time Beta SP was still far superior).
Then around 2003-2004 Panasonic released the DVX-100 and it changed everything. It was the first DV camera to shoot 24p and even more filmmakers gravitated to it. But many (maybe most) professional shops still steered clear.
You see where we're going here...
So we won't continue with the complete history of video formats - but, you can watch something right here that covers that topic (see what we did there?). ;)
Eventually affordable HD hit the marketplace (that many embraced) and shortly thereafter Apple released the iPhone in 2007 - and now today you can shoot 4K on a phone that in almost every way is better than a $20,000+ camera from just a decade or so ago.
But iPhones are still looked down upon (for the most part) in professional video environments. However, that's changing too with the help of iPhone shot movies from Sean Baker (Tangerine), Michele Gondry (Detour) and now Steven Soderbergh (Unsane).
It often takes a known entity or an A-List person to change the minds of the flock.
We've been advocates for iPhone filmmaking for a while now. We shot our first narrative film last year (Casey's Favorite Song) and recently did a behind-the-scenes video on it breaking down the mistakes we made in the hopes that others can learn from it.
Who knows where smartphone technology can go?
We don't have any idea, but we're excited to be along for the ride as it's definitely only going to get better.
And hopefully now we won't need any A-Lister to help others realize this.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter or FB. Happy (iPhone) filmmaking! :)