Music videos are an underappreciated art form, but are arguably crucial to making a song a giant hit. A great, buzzy music video can make a song a ubiquitous part of pop culture and act as a defining visual for a given artist or band. Ever since Michael Jackson changed the game with “Thriller,” many artists have used the art of music videos to launch them into the stratosphere, and that trend has definitely persevered to this day (hello, “Bad Blood”).
One thing that has changed these days is how artists can go about shooting buzzworthy videos. No longer do you need huge production values, a whopping budget and superstar cameo after superstar cameo to make an impressive looking video – all you really need is an iPhone (well that, and a decent song). Today, artists are deciding to go low-key and film music videos using nothing but a smartphone, creating captivating, innovative and engaging visuals with an object that’s carried around in pockets and purses. Below are the 5 best examples showcasing how good music videos shot with iPhones can be.
Robert Koch – “Dark Waves”
Proving just how advanced the iPhone’s filming capabilities have become, Koch’s “Dark Waves” video was shot using an iPhone 6S and features a moody, atmospheric slow motion capture of a surfer in the ocean and even includes underwater shots thanks to a waterproof case on the phone.
Kate Nash – “She Rules”
Cheeky British songstress Kate Nash shot her video for “She Rules” using an iPhone 5S. The video was directed and edited by Nash herself using iMovie, proving just how easy it is to make a DIY music video with nothing but a smartphone and a program available on all Mac computers.
BSJR – “Play”
The first ever music video shot using an iPhone (the 3GS model!), BSJR pioneered the usage of iPhones for music videos and really unlocked the phone’s hidden music video creating capability.
LeAnn Rimes, Rob Thomas & Jeff Beck – “Gasoline and Matches”
Another example of just how effective the iPhone’s stop motion recording feature can be, LeAnn Rimes employed the technique for this 2013 single while she was on a time crunch in Ireland. Filming on the iPhone proved easier, quicker and more affordable for the schedule packed country star.
Kanye West & Paul McCartney – “Only One”
Is it any surprise that Yeezus makes this list? The creative mind of Kanye West teamed with visionary director Spike Jonze to shoot a video for his song with Paul McCartney on the iPhone 6. The video is striking in its simplicity, and even features an appearance by daughter North West. Expect her debut music video to be shot on the iPhone 10S.