Vishal Bhardwaj shoots a film on iPhone, promo for Apple in India

Director Vishal Bhardwaj shot a full movie on an iPhone, an experience being called 'Shot on iPhone' production about a man obsessed with controlling the future. The director used an iPhone 14 Pro and the results were great.


By Screen Shot

Shot entirely on an iPhone 14 Pro, ‘Fursat’ with Ishaan Khattar and Wamiqa Gabbi in lead roles, the movie, according to National Award-winning director Vishal Bhardwaj, has proved that making a full-blown, two-hour feature film is now possible with the device. And he is willing to take a shot at it.

“Not just short films, I feel that the iPhone is now ready to help us create a full feature film. It is kind of unbelievable that we can have such a kind of stabilisation in scenes with Action Mode in iPhone 14 Pro. Cinematic Mode, or shift focus in our language, is another intelligent feature. The amazing part is that we could use this Cinematic Mode tool even after the shot was taken,” Bhardwaj said.

This is a great promo for Apple, the makers of iPhones, who have entered the Indian market in a big way, with even a factory near Chennai.

The device, Vishal Bhardwaj said, gives freedom to filmmakers who cannot afford to hire the entire fleet of tech equipment.

“It liberates you. You have a great device and now you only need content,” Vishal Bhardwaj, adding that several years down the line, people will actually realise the transformation the iPhone has brought to the world of filmmaking.

Apple took to YouTube to release the short film Fursat, which has been shot on iPhone 14 Pro, on its official channel. The bviewing is for free. The movie is about a man named Nishant who gets his hands on an ancient relic called Doordarshan that tells him the future.

The short film has been shot using the iPhone 14 Pro, which was launched by the Cupertino-based giant in September last year. The smartphone carries a 48-megapixel main camera with second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilisation. Alongside, it has a 12-megapixel telephoto camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor.

iPhone 14 Pro comes with a surgical-grade stainless steel body. The smartphone supports a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR Always-On OLED display. The Pro models also offer up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness. The handset was under limelight last year for its faulty camera features. The users complained that the camera was taking four to five seconds to open after the app icon was tapped, especially when there is another app open in the background.

The film has all the ingredients of popular cinema, including songs and choreographed dances, which are integral to Bollywood, packaged together on a scale never seen before for a non-commercial film.

“A traditional film camera comes with 10 people, 3 attendants and 10 boxes of lenses. You can’t move around. You can’t be quick. The iPhone liberated me in that sense,” said Vishal Bhardwaj.

“I’ve never had this kind of scale in my films ever before. And this can tell you about the scale the iPhone can achieve. As a device, it’s taking you out of the limitations which we had when we were growing up,” he added.

According to Swapnil Sonawane, director of photography, action mode is the most amazing update.

“For it to be held in your hand and run with all your might looking at the actor, one can get extremely steady shots without an external gimbal. The way Cinematic mode shifts focus is the way the focus puller would; it’s an emotional shift of focus, which is what was absolutely beautiful about it,” Sonawane elaborated.

The trailer of the short film is wonderful and the visuals are impressive. The colour palate and music is top-notch. It is a very experimental project for such a well established filmmaker like Bharadwaj. It has some great actors in the project too like Ishaan Khatter and Wamiqa Gabbi. As always, Vishal Bharadwaj gives the music of the film himself and the lyrics are written by Gulzar. We can witness the magic of the musical duo once again. The vocals are handled by singers like Sukhwinder Singh and Kailash Kher. The songs elevate the film to a whole different level. The dance sequences are choreographed with care. Shiamak Davar has done some great work as the choreographer.

The film has been described as a story of a man who becomes so obsessed with the power of controlling the future that he risks losing everything that he has in the present. Ishaan plays the lead, Nishant in the film. Nishant has a device named ‘Doordarshak’ which can foretell the future and in trying to control the future, he gets distanced from his love interest, played by Wamiqa Gabbi.

The wonderful songs ‘Kal’ can be said as the essence of the film and the title itself, ‘Fursat‘is very telling. Bharadwaj has said that the title tells about our feeling of want of leisure and forgetting to live because of ambition and then losing our freedom ultimately.

Vishal Bhardwaj, who has directed 10 feature films, produced five, and composed music for more than 40, including the internationally acclaimed Shakespearean Trilogy adaptations — ‘Maqbool‘ (Macbeth), ‘Omkara’ (Othello) and ‘Haider’ (Hamlet) — said he will be making more movies on an iPhones.

“There are many subjects for which we won’t find producers to put their money on. I am going to shoot many films on iPhones going forward,”  Vishal Bhardwaj said.

Action Mode supports up to 2.8K resolution and 60 fps and is a powerful creative tool when combined with Dolby Vision or ProRes recording.

Cinematic Mode now supports 4K resolution up to 30 fps, including 24 fps a go-to for shots just like the movies. Cinematic Mode also records in Dolby Vision HDR.

Also, Apple Music is the home to all the music associated with ‘Fursat’, as well as editorially curated Bollywood playlists.

The platform offers a bespoke super room for the film, which houses the album ‘Fursat’ in Spatial Audio for an immersive experience.

“We never had enough time for ourselves. We should focus on what we have the time right now, in this very moment. ‘Fursat‘ is all about finding that waqt,” said Vishal Bhardwaj, who is ready with ‘Khufiya,’ his next spy thriller on Netflix that is based on Amar Bhushan’s espionage novel ‘Escape to Nowhere’.

Short Film :Fursat

Release Date : February 3; 2023

Language :Hindi

Genre :Musical, Romance

Cast: Wamiqa Gabbi, Ishaan Khatter

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

Producer: Natasha Sunderan, Sadhya Vyas