iPhone filmmaking has really taken off in recent years, with everything from a Bentley commercial to the recent Sundance film, Tangerine. One of the people behind the big surge in mobile filmmaking and mobile journalism is David Basulto, creator of the iconic iOgrapher. Words by Daniel Roberts.
The iOgrapher is an all-in-one case for an iPhone and iPad, and you can add lenses and a microphone (there are kits available), thus giving filmmakers, videographers, and students a fantastic camera experience. Combine it with an app like FiLMiC Pro, and you’ve got a fully functional cinema camera for a reasonable price, plus the cost of an iPhone or iPad.
Basulto is a former high school teacher in Southern California, and after the iOgrapher took off, he ‘retired,’ and turned his focus to the iOgrapher full time.
He recently launched a new iOgrapher Kickstarter campaign for action cameras like the GoPro (the iOgrapher Go), so it’s a great to sit down and chat with David. He lets us in on the new iOgraphers, plus the shift to a different smartphone platform.
RedShark News (RSN): Tell me about all the success the iOgrapher has had since its initial Kickstarter campaign?
David Basulto (DB): Over 18 months ago, the iOgrapher Phone was born. Since that time we have grown to over eight products, my life as a high school media teacher ended, and we are in 1000 Best Buy stores. The iOgrapher for is used by professional athletes, filmmakers, journalists, coaches, and schools across the country.
RSN: How has it grown from being a tool found in the classroom to being actively used by filmmakers everywhere?
DB: I think the big reason of its growth is that Apple is upgrading and pushing the boundaries on it's devices. Plus many accessory makers such as microphones see this as a great market to enter. They are making great products that really turn what you make on an iPhone or iPad into high-quality content.
RSN: At what point did you decide to retire as a teacher and focus full-time
DB: I decided to retire from teaching last December  when I saw the amount of effort needed to make our retail business skyrocket. There is no way I could juggle both anymore.
RSN: How did the Best Buy deal come about? I imagine at that point the iOgrapher went to another level in retail.
DB: We met Best Buy at the vid con conference in Anaheim California in 2014. We just so happen to be next to their booth at the conference! That led to many meetings and finally a deal to go into 1000 stores.
RSN: How did it feel to see Steven Spielberg holding an iOgrapher in the set photo with Tom Hanks from Bridge of Spies?
DB: When I woke up and saw the emails from friends that included the picture of Steven Spielberg holding our product I pretty much just died on the floor. Not only is he one of my favorite all-time directors but he's such a great guy too. I am just so honored that he even knows what it is.
RSN: Tell me about the new iOgrapher and its Kickstarter campaign?
DB: Since I wasn't busy enough I decided to tinker with a system for the go Pro in other action cameras. They are so small and hard to hold that I decided to bring over the same concept as the IOgrapher for iPads and iPhones and bring it in the action camera market. Now you can add lights microphones and even then HD monitor to your go Pro and shoot some great stuff.
RSN: What's next for you?
DB: What's next for us? We are diving into Android this year [FiLMiC Pro just announced an app for Android], but we’re on the fence about the iPad Pro, though the newest iPad mini is done and the mold is being made. Also, I’ve assembled an awesome sales leader and customer service department, so I can focus on content and R&D. [And] to continue to push the boundaries of mobile filmmaking and mobile journalism. I love empowering people with equipment that can make great content.
RSN: Can you tell me more about your push into Android?
DB: Android phone first, maybe an Android tablet later. Stay tuned.