I shot a campaign for the Oscars a number of years back. We shot on a Flip. We had an Arri Alexa as backup because Flips are bullshit.
If you shoot on a phone I immediately know two things:
1) You don't care about sound. Frame length on compressed formats is variable so you're going to lose sync in three or four minutes and you're shooting on a phone in no small part so you can shoot longer takes.
2) You don't care about framing. Phones shoot from "boring" to "less boring" with nothing in between. Their focal length is irrelevant.
Yeah - if what you want is static pictures of people talking you can shoot that shit on a phone. And yeah - Soderbergh is probably the absolute best at making movies in which static people talk. I love and respect a lot of his work.
But Soderbergh does experiments like this because he kinda hates cinema. People read about stuff like this because they want to be able to make movies with their phones. And the last thing the world needs is a bunch of college students shooting each other on their fucking phones.
“If I had a traditional camera package … the film I think would not have been any better,” Soderbergh said on The Bill Simmons Podcast last month. “It might have been worse. It certainly would have taken longer.”
And if you had a traditional camera package (and a traditional sound package, and a traditional lighting package) you could have made other movies.
I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll never mix Post again. Nobody wants it anymore. Everyone is used to garbage cooked up by shredditors in Premiere. And I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll effectively never watch movies again. Your choices are $300m shitstravaganzas where CGI superheroes fight CGI superheroes to try and convince the Chinese to come out or $1m "passion pieces" that Johnny spent his mom's 401(k) on so he could sell it to Hulu at a loss.
But I refuse to agree that nothing of value has been lost.
TV and movies are a 'boomer phenomenon. When the 'boomers are all dead, TV and movies will be too. But they won't go all at once. They'll go slowly, and by parts, becoming leaner, meaner, more callow, more phlegmy, and much less fun at parties like Camille dying of consumption. And because critics have to insist that something is good every time they decry something is shit so they can pretend to have "balance" we'll all pretend it isn't happening.