These 7 Music Videos Were Filmed With Just a Smartphone


Recently when Lok, Warren, and I travelled to Cologne to meet up with Kai at Photokina, we tested out three pieces of gear that could really open up a lot of doors for videographers and photographers: the iPhone 7 (chill out Android fans, I guess Google’s Pixel will be great too), the Feiyu SPG Live, and its new competitor – DJI’s Osmo Mobile.

You’ll have to stay tuned for the full DRTV video to see which one is better, but let me give you a sneak preview by saying that both are pretty damn impressive. Video with smartphones is getting really powerful as well, and we were able to incorporate footage from the iPhone 7 quite seamlessly into our own videos.

Just today popular indie artist Grimes and her friend HANA released seven music videos all at once, with four for Grimes and three for HANA. They ditched the cameras and filmed all seven of the videos on smartphones while Grimes and HANA were on tour in Europe. Filming took two weeks in between all the concerts and travelling, and while I’m sure it could have been easily done with a mirrorless camera, using a smartphone yielded very decent results. The music may not be to everyone’s taste, but I was really impressed with the work they managed to do with such minimal equipment.

Some of the editing was done by Grimes’ brother Mac Boucher, who has previously filmed some of her professional music videos. He noted on his Instagram post that working with the bare essentials helped them tremendously, as they ended up not having to request filming permission when working in historical sites, since they were just considered, “insane tourists with a weird selfie stick and occasional blashemous short shorts and robes.”“…There was no crew, makeup (artists), cameras, lights. Just us and a phone, so maybe don’t expect anything too fancy. That said, we’re really proud of what we made.”

Scenes were shot across England, Switzerland, and Italy in inspiring locations like ancient castles, but also drab locations such as hotel hallways. It’s a great reminder that even in the most seemingly uninspiring of locations, a talented videographer and subject can make something happen.

Of course, filming “lo-fi” isn’t exactly new, and Apple has long touted the quality of their iPhone videos. Just last year, the feature film ‘Tangerine’ was released to great acclaim having been shot entirely on iPhone.

It’s becoming easier and easier now to produce great content with minimal equipment. With ever-increasing video capabilities being added to smartphones and gimbals cheaper than ever, we could soon see the same kind of disruption in the video industry that smartphones have through to photography.