Tangerine, a film that was shot in its entirety on an iPhone, has wowed audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to such an extent that it has now been purchased by Magnolia Pictures.
According to Variety, the studio bought the world distribution rights to Tangerine on Tuesday morning. They beat out the likes of 124 and IFC to acquire the film, and they’re believed to have spent a six-figure sum on it.
Tangerine is now expected to be released later this year. Since premiering at the prestigious film festival earlier this week, the film has received a huge amount of attention. That’s because director Sean Baker, in conjunction with his cinematographer Radium Cheung, decided to shoot the entire piece using an iPhone.
Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, both of whom are trans-actresses, make their debuts in Tangerine, starring as two prostitutes in Hollywood who are looking a pimp on Christmas Eve.
Baker has been talking to the Verge about how he created Tangerine using such rudimentary technology. The burgeoning filmmaker explained that they used three iPhones during their shoot, while they also paid $8 for an app entitled Filmic Pro.
This allowed him to have control over the color temperature and focus of the film’s look. Meanwhile, the most expensive purchase they made in order to get their desired effect was the purchase of a Steadicam.
“These phones, because they’re so light, and they’re so small, a human hand – no matter how stable you are – it will shake,” he explained.
“And it won’t look good. So you needed the Steadicam rig to stabilize it.”
However, there was one important piece of equipment that was integral to giving Tangerine a cinematic quality. Baker declared that he purchased a set of anamorphic adapter lenses that he then attached to the iPhone in order to get the look he pined for. In fact, he has admitted that this was essential to making the film look like it belonged on-screen.
“To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have even made the movie without it,” Baker enthused.
“It truly elevated it to a cinematic level.”
Some of the actors have now admitted that they weren’t entirely convinced that shooting with an iPhone would work. However, the finished result has now become only the second film of this year’s Sundance Film Festival to be purchased.