Tangerine Trailer and Interview
That's Sean right there. They're our leads. This is Sean on a messenger bike with a Steadicam Smoothee with an iPhone doing incredible stuff you couldn't do with a more expensive camera. And he was a bike messenger, so he took what he was good at and imported into the shot, and that is the gorgeous sun flare look that the movie has. Take a look for yourselves.
Hey, Alexandra, come here. Listen, have you seen Sin-Dee?
Sin-Dee Rella, looks like someone has a crush.
Sin-Dee's back on the block?
Oh yeah, she's back. She's back and she's going hard.
Merry Christmas, brah. (women cheer and laugh)
I got something new to tell you about me and Chester.
I know what it is. You're breaking up with him, thank God! For him to be cheating on you like that.
Wait, wait, wait, whoa, what? (dramatic music)
You didn't know? Mmm. (techno music)
White light, who is she?
Her name starts with a D.
You're making me lose my game.
She's some White fish.
Is she gonna be a real fish?
Yeah, like a real fish, girl, like vagina and everything. (intense music)
Girl calm down, it's not that serious! I will go with you under one condition. You must promise me that there's not gonna be any drama.
I promise, I promise.
Look at me in my eyes and promise.
I promise no drama, Alexandra. (dramatic music)
Whoa! What the!
Help me, Officer!
You didn't have to Chris Brown the girl.
What did you do to her? (upbeat music)
Does you friend ever shut up?
No, she's been talkin' ever since I met her. (woman screams) (whistles) (camera shutter)
This one has one shoe!
She's from the Hill, she Hillbilly.
Sin Sin, who's your man? Whose heart beats for you?
Sid-Dee, what do you see in him? Talk to me. (upbeat music)
You've been out of jail for 24 hours. She's already causing drama.
She's calling the police.
The cops are coming.
Come on, girl! (bright music)
Out here it is all about our hustle. And that's it. (upbeat music)
The world can be a cruel, cruel place.
Yes, it is cruel, God gave me a penis. That's pretty damn cruel, don't you think? (upbeat music)
Hi, everybody, this is Neill Barham, with Filmic Pro. I am here with my friends, Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch of the wonderful Tangerine film, which was a Sundance hit. Now slated for theatrical release this July across the nation, and actually going international as well. Hi, gents, how are you?
How are you?
Fantastic, fantastic. So, let's start out with how you guys, instead of like, you know, the whole made on iPhone film. Tell me how you guys made a great film.
How'd you make a great film?
(laughs) Yeah um.
Well first of all, thank you, that's very kind.
So let's talk about the actors. Because it looks like a nice mixture of some name actors with some exposure, and then some first-timers, with what? Theatrical backgrounds?
That's where I do wanna talk about the iPhone, to tell you the truth, because the iPhone is something that actually, in this case, I think it stripped, I didn't know this was going to happen until the first few days of shooting. But I realized that the iPhone stripped their inhibitions away, and really put them on the same confidence level as the seasoned actors. Because you know, everybody has an iPhone. And the girls were even using their own smartphones to take selfies of each other in between takes. So when it came to actually us shooting the film, there was no intimidation factor. So this time around, this combination of first-time actors and seasoned actors, it was a little bit different from the way it's been in the past, it was no hump. Everybody was on the same hump to get over. There was a, they were on the same level from day one.
So actually that brings me to a great quote that I guess James Ramton, I hope I'm getting his name right, but Chester?
Which is sort of like, and I think it pertains to the workshop that we're doing today. But just shooting in a mobile device doesn't make a film in and of itself. And it's no replacement for I think he used the phrase, like a hundred years of filmmaking. And so, I think that the experience that you guys bring to the table, from having made numerous films before, shows, an ultimately a good storyteller, the camera itself, doesn't matter, it's the construct, so. It seems like there are a few unique things that the iPhone or the mobile device helped with this. But I mean if it had been shot on another camera, it still would have been an exceptional story. So you talk about the intimacy, maybe, with new, or first-time actors. What were some of the other potential benefits I guess, from the hardware that you guys used?
Well, there were a few benefits. Number one, yeah intimacy. The fact that we did shoot clandestinely. We could do stuff with this phone that I wouldn't have been able to do with bigger cameras on our budget. For example, we bought a painter's pole, and we were able to do impromptu crane shots. These days, we shot a year and a half later, you know we shot this over a year and a half ago. If it was shot now, you have your camera on, I mean your phone on a drone, and be getting all, you know you could do a lot more in that area. But I think also, you know a lot of these microbudget films are shot in the same budget level as what we shot on, that we shot the film for, what they do is that they, they get three or four characters. They put them in one location, and it's all dialogue. And we wanted to put all of our money on the screens. So we used the money that we saved by shooting on the iPhone and put that into the locations. Put that into extras, I mean we have a huge ensemble cast. And we were able to do that and also pay ourselves. We were in the union, you know, I'm DGA, we're both WGA. We have SAG actors in the film. So people had to be paid properly. And we were able to, with all the money that was saved on the technical end, we were able to pay people for their time. We were able to put it into production value, et cetera.
Right, you know, that's interesting. Just a brief little anecdote about Filmic Pro. But then part of the background is in local, indie, filmmaker friends, the conversation always used to be like, if I only had this camera, I could go make my movie. If I only had the new camera that just replaced the old camera that I had to have to make the--
And so to hear that you're taking your money away from the camera department, still investing it in the film, but actually getting in a lot of ways, more production value than you know, whatever the living mumble core movie that somebody might go after if they're like, yes, I've got no money, really is refreshing. Let's, we're doing a little bit of a focus on audio later in the program, can you guys talk a little bit about, I'm guessing maybe you went to a second unit audio recording. Or did you go into the mobile device as well?
Oh, unfortunately, I don't know the actual sound recording device that Irin Strauss used.
I thought he was gonna be part of this, so--
And I'm sorry, but, I do, you know, he's a professional sound recordist.
Basic wireless lavs, that he used to mic the actors.
Yeah, and Sennheiser for boom, and Full Out, I forgot the name of the mixer, but it's a Full Out professional sound mixer. And the thing is is that he synced all of this in post production. So we weren't wrapping the audio on the phone.
It's all done in your very, you know, standard, traditional way, because you know, sound means so much. You really have to have professional sound for your project to be professional, I feel. You can't skimp on sound. So to tell you the truth, our sound footprint was actually larger than our video footprint. Because he often was pushing around a huge cart. So often to make sure that we didn't draw the attention of people on the street, we'd ask him to push his cart around the corner, you know what I mean? And be even, so, yeah if anything was giving it away that we were shooting a feature film on the streets of L.A., was the fact that it was the sound department.
So sound is important.
Yeah, yeah, we're gonna stress that this afternoon. So thank you guys so much for bringing it up. And definitely unfortunate that we didn't have time to get Irin on the broadcast. 'Cause I would love to find out more details about the tech specs that he used to record this. And that people learn something from what you guys did so successfully.
Since he's been doing a lot of interviews. So if people simply wanna Google Tangerine, Irin Strauss or comma sound they will find that information.
Okay, fantastic! Let's move over to, I guess the camera department. And I guess we should talk about Radium Cheung for a little bit, how many cameras? And what was the shooting ratio, at the end of the day?
Well, we bought three cameras. But I don't think we ever used all three at one time. I think the most was just two cameras sometimes being used. And then often a single camera being used, depending on the style of the scene. We had, a Stedicam Smoothee. Which I'm sure you know what it looks like, right?
It's a little--
Have one of them, but I've never been able to use it with the efficacy that you guys pulled off. So it still amazes me.
Takes a little practice.
It takes a lot of practice.
It takes about a month of practice. I was running around my apartment, chasing my dog with the Steadicam. And I sent one to Radium about a month before the shoot and had him practice at home. And so, so that and, what was your other question?
Oh and also, don't forget the Moondog Lab sight.
The Moondog Lab for the city aspect.
For the aspect ratio you mentioned.
Right right right, yup. We're gonna showcase that this afternoon, when going through the gear. But let's talk a little bit about how that enabled the picture to hold up when you're going theatrically to a big screen, because, looked gorgeous!
It really did, and plus, you know, your app, Filmic Pro has the capability of capturing at the higher-quality compression rate. The thing that the anamorphic adapter added to this was the bokeh, the flares, the bokeh, the other little characteristics that we associate with widescreen cinema.
Right, yeah and it's incredible actually. So I have hopes for lots of different reasons that this film reinvigorates independent cinema, which is getting not as much play as it used to be. And it seems like every other movie is a comic book, $300 million dollar, has to be bigger than the last comic book, $300 million dollar movie, so. Something that's so authentic and unique, and isn't usually given the amount of screen time, is one special benefit. But I think a magical scene like that, where potentially, you have a studio head saying you know, that's going on the cutting room floor, doesn't advance the plot as much as it needs to you know, faster, faster, and one of the beauties of independent cinema is that you're making those choices. And you're not having to acquiesce to somebody else. And so that's where, that's why it's such a compelling thing, and you know, I don't know, on a personal, passionate level. Really hope to see more people make films, and be able to do it on whatever budgets. And I actually think that your guys' movie is going to be the most significant independent film of this decade, so. If nobody else has said that, I'm going on record, and claiming that.
That's really amazing that you think that, you know. Hope that you're correct, I just wanna say that no matter who's giving you money for a movie, of course it happens in Hollywood too. But you work with people in independent films, and you know they, you always sort of come across that mentality like, oh we love everything that you do, we wanna work with you. Now we wanna change everything that you do. And with this film, you couldn't ask for anything more than what we've been working with, with the Duplass brothers. Mark Duplass going to Sean and them starting this process, And then Marcus and Karrie Cox with Through Films. I mean, they had their notes and they were great notes. But for the most part, completely hands off. And I think with a lot of cases, I mean it was a dream come true because just take the you know, the part with Sin-Dee sitting on the bus stop, and making her decision you know, should she go back to her friend who's upset at her, or should she pursue her mission and keep moving forward? And you know, we wanted to capture this whole thought process and let it breathe. Let the film sit down and breathe. And I just you know, you're not gonna get a lot of people that are gonna give you the freedom to do something like that.
They'll tell you it's too long or whatever, you know. So that's why we were very fortunate to be working with other creatives that pretty much just you know, got what Sean was trying to do here.
Well, I can't thank you guys enough. Best of luck on your journeys, your next film as well. I can't wait to see that. A couple thing I wanna leave our audience with is that one of the reasons that Tangerine is such a wonderful film is the experience that you guys have and bring it to the table. And that's something that everybody's gonna have, a great opportunity to do with iPhones. Before you're a great filmmaker, you're gonna be a good filmmaker. Before you're a good filmmaker, you're probably gonna make a couple bad ones. So get the bad ones out of the way and work your way up. And it's a wonderful device for that. And you guys have shown actually the entire world that ultimately there's no ceiling on what you can accomplish if you bring talent and a good story to any particular platform. And mobile, in this case, so, again, thanks for your time. Tangerine's playing at SFF on June 4th. And June 7th, it will be opening nationwide. Or no, sorry, in New York and LA on July 10th. And then broader markets after that on the 17th.
And he'll be there in Seattle.
I'll see you there!
Oh, fantastic, alright, we're gonna go out for a drink. That'll probably get edited out too, but anyway. You guys have a wonderful afternoon, thank you so much!
Thank you, thanks for having us!
Okay, bye bye. Okay, so I'm a huge fan of the film. I had the luxury of seeing it at the San Francisco International Film Festival. It exceeded all of my expectations and it's a wonderful story. And it's a gorgeous film to look at. How did they make it so attractive? There are a handful of things that they did. Starting with an adapter, which we'll show you in a second on the next slide, that'll let them shoot in 240 amorphic. And they also shot at the highest encoding option possible. The 50 megabits a second that we've been talking about. Then color graded it on a DiVinci. Saturating the colors to give it, actually, I don't know who the writer was. But somebody called it a Pop Verite film. And it's a perfect way to describe it. And the last thing that they did was they added grain back into the film, or actually just added grain to the film. And that gave it much more of an actual cinematic look. Like it really didn't look like video. Didn't quite feel like 16 millimeter, but was totally engaging. I think it's gonna open a lot of people's eyes.
Yeah, that, to belabor of this. But I think that it's one of those, the performance, and the characters are so honest, that it almost, the look is beautiful, but you get away with a lot more because it's such a transparent device. And you know, one thing I'm really excited about is to do more documentary work with the iPhone because there are stories that will be told down the road, that will be told on these that would never be able to be told on larger devices because you'll be able to get performances from people, that you'll never get from a larger device. And you know, as they were mentioning in there, there's some scenes they were shooting on a bus. And they're like it looks like just two people shooting a fight on a bus right? And people are kind of looking around, not paying attention 'cause it's just somebody shooting a phone. And with all of the videos that have been coming out recently, it's not weird to see somebody filming somebody else with an iPhone, so you could get these performances that are so honest, and transparent that it just, that's what excites me, I think that's really, really exciting, especially if you're a first-time director, a new director, and it's hard for your vision to kind of be, you know, directing actors is not easy, it's an art form, so I love that, I love that idea.
And this film makes me think of something else that you said earlier in the program, but like, unique stories. The stories that we haven't seen before that, I mean I try to imagine somebody walking into Paramount and saying you know, give me $1.5 million to make a story about you know, some transgendered prostitutes that things go awry on Christmas Eve. More than likely they would've been shown the door. But they shouldn't have, because this is an amazing story that's a beautiful window into a unique part of the world and the story just sucks you in. And I think actually trumps even the aesthetic in getting the audience to just like lean forward in their chair. Which is ultimately what you want.