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Two-Buck iPhone App Saves An Oscar-Nominated Movie

What kind of advertising for a $1.99 iPhone app could compete with an Oscar nomination? I think none. Turns out a simple, but very useful, iPhone app can benefit from free advertising, as it was used for finishing the shooting for an Oscar-nominated movie.

Here is the story. While shooting the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, a very popular singer in South Africa, director Malik Bendjelloul found himself in the unpleasant situation of running out of money before he could finish the filming. As the budget didn't allow him to use the expensive Super 8 camera, he turned to the App Store and found the perfect fit for his film. This 8 mm Vintage Camera app helped him finish his movie.

I started shooting this on a Super 8 camera, like with film, which is pretty expensive stuff, and completely ran out of money. I really had a very few stuff, it was a very few shots left but I needed those shots. And one day I realized that there was this $1 app here on my iPhone and I tried it and it was basically the same as the real stuff, he said during the interview with CNN.

He isn't the first director to have used iPhones to shoot films. Park Chan-wook also used Apple's popular handset to shoot his own film, Oldboy. There is even an iPhone Film Festival where you can watch movies filmed exclusively on iPhones. Just a side note. Don't set your expectations too high.

But Malik Bendjelloul's case is different. His film has since been nominated for an Academy Award, after winning some other prizes as well. The 8 mm Vintage Camera is referred to by Bendjelloul as a $1 app, but it is currently priced at $1.99. You can try it out for yourself, by following this link.

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