How to Shoot Cool Tilt Shift Timelapse Video… On an iPhone

Posted by Anthony - March 2, 2012 - Cell Phone Cinema, Cinematography, Filmmaking Apps - No Comments

So in my continued exploration of the world of cellphone cinema, I’ve actually become quite intrigued with all the amazing things that you can now do just on your cellphone.  Check out the beautiful and amazing tilt-shift time-lapse video below, City of Samba, by Jarbas Agnelli and Keith Loutit (who has actually done many such videos as part of his  Small Worlds Project).

While I’m sure these guys used a really nice pro camera to get this funky footage of Carnaval in Rio, YOU can also shoot your very own time-lapse tilt-shift video with nothing more than an iPhone and the right apps…

How to Do It on an iPhone: Start with an app like Camera Plus Pro which is one of several video apps that will allow you to shoot time-lapse video scenes.  (Hint: To get the best footage to apply a tilt-shift effect, shoot cinematic wide shots, especially wide shots with vehicles, planes, trains, boats, and people moving, etc.  These will all look like little toy models when you finish.)

After you have a nice collection of cool time-lapse video clips that you are happy with, import your footage into any one of several tilt-shift focus apps like Tilt Shift Video and customize the tilt shift effect for each scene.  In these apps you can select how quickly the blur falls off and the specific shape and size of the area in focus – circle, oval, straight band… Experiment with what works best for each shot.

Finally, you can use an app like ReelDirector to edit the whole thing all without ever leaving your iPhone.  Pretty amazing.  Of course, if you’re not a cellphone cinema purist, you could always import your video clips into a regular edit program like Premiere, Final Cut Pro or iMovie and add the finishing touches there too.

And there you have it.  Piece of cake… If you make something cool using the above method, please post a link below this post and share.

Happy cellphone cinema!


(*Thanks to my friend, Jocelyn Gonzales, who originally shared this video with me and inspired this post.  Jocelyn’s sage advice on location audio and audio post can be found in my new book for freelance filmmakers.) 

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