53 – 5 Advantages to Shooting Solo + Conversation with iPhone Doc Filmmaker, Jack Ballo

Whether by necessity or aesthetic choice, we doc filmmakers often shoot our projects with minimal crew and gear, sometimes even opting to go entirely solo.  There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages to such an approach.  But for this week’s opening segment we’ll take a look at 5 Advantages to Shooting Solo as a Doc Filmmaker.  And in our shared conversation with a doc industry guest, we’ll talk with filmmaker Jack Ballo, who has recently been making waves with his latest doc, Brothers, a film that he shot entirely with his iPhone!


Podcast Conversation

  • how shooting a film with an iPhone was initially an exercise that turned into something bigger
  • why shooting with your iPhone allows the filmmaker to concentrate on the filming, instead of their gear
  • how shooting with an iPhone almost makes the filmmaker invisible to his/her subjects
  • why Jack may never go back to using his “professional” gear ever again


In Addition

In this episode we also discuss 5 Advantages to Shooting Solo as a Doc Filmmaker

  1. You only have to worry about yourself
  2. It’s low impact
  3. You’re the only person who touches your gear
  4. No one knows your vision like you do
  5. It’s cheap


Related Resources

You can check out trailers to two of Jack Ballo’s films, including his feature-length doc, Destiny’s Bridge and his latest iPhone doc, Brothers.  And when you’re finished there, feel free to head on over to Jack’s DIY Documentary blog.  Lots of posts about Do It Yourself Documentary Filmmaking!





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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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