Moondog Labs was delighted to participate in the Sundance Film Festival premiere of Tangerine, Sean Baker's poignant feature film about two transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles. The film follows Sin-Dee, fresh out of jail on Christmas Eve. When she learns that her pimp boyfriend cheated on her while she was gone, she sets off on a furious rampage to track down her rival. Scenes from a local cab are interwoven with the action, until the characters converge with explosive results.
The audience came prepared for an edgy comedy, but was clearly not expecting what they learned when the final credit rolled….Tangerine was shot entirely on the iPhone 5S with our anamorphic adapters.
In the post-premiere Q&A, Baker described development of the film, not only casting newcomers from a nearby LGBTQ community center in lead roles, but also inviting their collaboration on the screen play and dialogue.
In describing the film’s aesthetic, Baker described wanting to “go for something very different with the look. We wound up shooting the entire film on the iPhone 5S. We came across two things that elevated the look. Number one is Moondog Labs who created these amazing anamorphic adapters. I wouldn't have made the film without that. I think it really elevated the look.”
Hollywood Reporter described the film’s look as “crisp and vigorously cinematic”, with “an aesthetic purity that stands out in a field where so much indie filmmaking has gotten glossier and less technically adventurous.” According to Variety, shooting with anamorphic adapters on iPhones gave Tangerine “not only a more intimate, caught-on-the-fly feel, but also a bracingly cinematic widescreen look that takes on an almost radioactive glow in the harsh glare of an L.A. winter.” Tangerine is receiving widespread critical acclaim, expanding recognition of the legitimate role of mobile filmmaking. Hear more from Baker about Tangerine in this Variety interview.
Mobile filmmaking is clearly here to stay, reflected in Academy award-winning films, disputed rumors of iPhone footage in studio blockbusters, and acclaimed features premiering at South by Southwest and now Sundance. So what are you waiting for?
Photos courtesy of TANGERINE and Alfred Cervantes