‘Framed’ Brings the Unseen Beauty of the World to Light

Short of the Day

A bit of magic realism shot entirely on an iPhone 4S.

When I was a kid in the 1980s, only 30 years ago, if we wanted to make a movie, we had to know someone who owned a Camcorder and was willing to hand it over to children, then we had to lug the bulky, clunky thing and its batteries around, then when we were done, if we wanted to edit it? Wish upon a star, kid, because that was as sure a route to success as any other we had. Some brainiacs could use multiple VHS players to edit a master copy, but if I had been the kind of kid who had been smart enough to pull off something like that, I’d be out there making movies now as an adult instead of sitting at home writing about them. Most of us just had to shoot in sequential order and pray nobody screwed anything up, which of course they always did, being grubby little 80s kids and whatnot.

Point is, aspiring filmmakers today have it a lot easier when it comes to getting out in the world and creating, and that’s not me being bitter, that’s me truly in awe at not only the accessibility of technology to people of all ages and level of experience or proficiency, but also at the quality of product that technology is able to produce.

Case in point, Framed, a whimsical and beautifully-haunting short film from director Mael Sevestre that was made on an iPhone 4S and edited on Final Cut Pro 7, both fine bits of technology but also both very basic. From them Sevestre has produced work of unquestionable quality, to the point whatever “shortcomings” such technology has as opposed to professional gear actually lend themselves to Sevetre’s narrative, which is a silent short story about a photographer out taking pictures who captures something else entirely within the parameters of his frame.

Besides being a charming three-and-a-half minutes, Framed is also inspirational. It proves it doesn’t take a lot of cash or equipment to create something wonderful, just a phone, some affordable software, and a whole lot of initiative, discipline, desire, and gumption, but all that stuff’s free.