The Avengers Cinematographer Reveals Some Scenes Were Filmed with An iPhone

Seamus McGarvey, the man behind the camera on Marvel & Joss Whedon's superhero flick dishes on the film, revealing there's scenes filmed with an iphone! Check it out!

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By DCMarvelFreshman - 10/20/2011


The director of photography for Marvel Studios' Joss Whedon-directed superhero flick The Avengers, Seamus McGarvey, recently caught up with IFTN to elaborate on his career as a photographer and filmmaker. And evidently discussing the highly-anticipated movie, McGarvey reveals there are some scenes filmed with an iphone in the movie; some of which made it into the theatrical trailer.

“That’s what you call a jump cut, not a dissolve!” jokes Seamus. “[The Avengers] was a whole different exercise in a whole different range of cinematic graphic muscles for me. Thematically, it was a turnaround, but also there was a lot more equipment, a much bigger crew, a lot more money to spend on set ups – it was almost like a different medium!”

“The beauty of photography or cinema is that you make every choice based on the content at hand. On The Avengers, I did a couple of shots on the iPhone and they are in the movie. In fact, they are in the trailer! I understand that sometimes there is no choice and you have to go for the cheapest option, but if you are limited for choice, you can still make poignant decisions that will effect the look of the film,” adds McGarvey.



Marvel's The Avengers is the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner with Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston, directed by Joss Whedon, Marvel's The Avengers will be released May 4, 2012.


Source: IFTN
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MrReese - 10/20/2011, 7:03 AM
"I did a couple of shots on the iPhone and they are in the movie. In fact, they are in the trailer! I understand that sometimes there is no choice and you have to go for the cheapest option"

WTF REALLY?? REALLY?? LMAO!!! ;)
WolvieCBM - 10/20/2011, 7:03 AM
Yep, I'm guessing that would be the shot when people capture that big explosion on camera. It looked pretty good. Great find bud.
Dynamo - 10/20/2011, 7:08 AM
I think that the cinematography wasn't that great in the trailer. Everything looked too bright, not enough shadows in some scenes. Particularly when Thor and Cap clash, the lighting makes everything look fake and plastic. I'm not usually a fan of the teal/orange colour grading but I think it would've worked well in this movie. It's a minor gripe, sure but I though I would share it.
ComicBuzz - 10/20/2011, 7:13 AM
Great find! Gives me an excuse to watch the trailer again - like I needed it!
jbak368 - 10/20/2011, 7:14 AM
The cinematography looked considerably better in the trailer than it has on any other Marvel Studios film. And iPhones have HD cameras on them, so that really isn't a surprise. In fact, I'm surprised they don't get used that way more often.
WarPig - 10/20/2011, 7:15 AM
As long as the film looks great, I dont't care what they film it with!
MassExecutions - 10/20/2011, 7:18 AM
I agree with Dynamo. It looked a little to TV to me, not that cinematic.

I looked this guy up on IMDB, and while he's been involved in some good movies, there weren't any that struck me because of their cinematography. Hope he comes through on this one.
Dynamo - 10/20/2011, 7:20 AM
@jbak368
I think the opposite actually. I think the Incredible Hulk had the best cinematography, followed by the Iron Man films, Thor then Cap.
jjmeylar - 10/20/2011, 7:20 AM
I'm with WolvieCBM. That was actually my guess before I saw that he put that. I'm glad that I'm not totally insane. :)
RadicalDuck - 10/20/2011, 7:27 AM
Lol I expect we'll start seeing loads of comments saying how cheap Marvel is etc because of this. With an iPhone you could probably get closer to the action and give a realistic, POV or interactive sort of feel so that as we watch it feel more involved. TBH I'm really not bothered- its actually good in showing that Whedon/Marvel are willing to be a bit more innovative. Innovation often drives things forward after all.
heisei24 - 10/20/2011, 7:29 AM
....and here come the trolls calling The Avengers cheap...
WolvieCBM - 10/20/2011, 7:29 AM
And they still have time to make the "look" of the film better. Stuff we saw in the trailer is not the final thing. All that is being worked on in post.
Priest - 10/20/2011, 7:30 AM
@ JLA2014,

How does it feels to be talking out of your ass?
rbfn04 - 10/20/2011, 7:30 AM
@JLA only, Snyderman will suckand they prolly used an iPhone to make it look like people filmed it on the streets.

Nice try tho, troll harder next time, bro... ;)
marvel72 - 10/20/2011, 7:31 AM
@ JLA2014

& you would of never known unless this guy had said,has the justice league begun filming yet no because its never gonna happen.
WolvieCBM - 10/20/2011, 7:31 AM
@JLA2014: You need help.
Shaman - 10/20/2011, 7:33 AM
I'm a get myself an Iphone and get rich off making porn!
rbfn04 - 10/20/2011, 7:35 AM
Cap and Thor fighting (gosh I'm sick of superheroes fighting each other,Marvel seem to be in love with it lately) does look like it came straight outta Spectreman.

Of course, scene is probably not finished yet...
jbak368 - 10/20/2011, 7:35 AM
Avengers is the first one to have cinematography that makes it look like a big summer blockbuster in the vein of Spielberg/Cameron/Nolan/Bay (not that I like Bay, but his movies always LOOK good). I thought it clearly looked like it had a bigger budget than any other Marvel Studios film so far.
Spidey91 - 10/20/2011, 7:43 AM
@JLA
iPhone or not,it's still 1000 times better than the Justice League movie,which is being filmed with nothing.
patriautism - 10/20/2011, 7:44 AM
Don't get me wrong , I'm a Marvel and a DC, but The Dark Knight does have one thing on this movie now..
Every scene filmed in Imax..
Still this doesn't mean it will be a bad movie. My iPhone's camera is pretty sweet.
ksommer - 10/20/2011, 7:51 AM
@Pat- I don't see how some scenes filmed by an iphone makes TDKR having one step up? Most likely like Wolvie said, it's to show from a civilian's point of view and would be more realistic.

@intruder- couldn't agree with you more! JLA is a useless troll.
StrangerX - 10/20/2011, 7:51 AM
LMAO!!! Seriously Marvel movies so far haven't really done anything spectacular visually besides with their characters. Iron Man, HULK, and Steve Rogers Transformation. Thor was suppose to be this great visual EPIC, but yet the scenes of Asgard weren't that great, and even Marvel fans were talking about how they expected more. However, I'm hoping once we see the helicarrier in action we will finally get to see something truly amazing.

patriautism - 10/20/2011, 7:57 AM
A major part of films is cinematography.
Yes Avengers will still be good, will TDKR be a better movie story wise? I don't know that yet either. But the Avengers will have one thing working against it .It won't have the breathtaking iMAX cinematography of Wally Pfister. You can say what you will about the story of any of the movies he has worked on, but the cinematography is always astounding, and the movies are always better for it.

ksommer - 10/20/2011, 7:58 AM
@StrangerX- But Marvel fans saying they wanted more of Asgard, they are talking duration not quality.
Shaman - 10/20/2011, 8:03 AM
Tea- Glad to hear it cause you were my #2 phone call on my list! Right under Gusto. No offense but Gusto's a porno goldmine ;P
StrangerX - 10/20/2011, 8:04 AM
Intruder plz- That' why everyone was complaining it should have looked more like lOTR.
ksommer - 10/20/2011, 8:05 AM
@Shaman LOL!!! "AH MY EYES!!!!"
AreTudaEDub - 10/20/2011, 8:06 AM
@StrangerX I gotta disagree on your Thor comment. Thor had some of the BEST cinematography in a CBM hands down. I have it on Blu-Ray. I MEAN IT IS AMAZING! How much I like the film is a different story but asgard looks stunning in technicolor. I have a Philips 48" LED with movie color on 70% though.
capcyclopsftw - 10/20/2011, 8:08 AM
Trudy - that was me talking about the difference between Marvel trolls and DC Trolls.

It's quite hilarious the VAST difference and the absurdity that DC goes to.
ksommer - 10/20/2011, 8:09 AM
@capcyclops This Asgard argument is perfect proof of that
Dynamo - 10/20/2011, 8:13 AM
@Intruder
See, I don't think this guys cinematography is that great. It was okay in Atonement, but here it's way too bright.
StrangerX - 10/20/2011, 8:14 AM
I guess I'll make that same 90% argument for Green Lantern as well..lol
Orphix - 10/20/2011, 8:14 AM
Wow - genuinely shocked.

A news story about capturing explosions on an iphone - and not ONE Gadaffi joke?!?!
heisei24 - 10/20/2011, 8:20 AM
@orphix what gadaffi joke?
HelaGood - 10/20/2011, 8:23 AM
talk about product placement...
aRandomSinisterClone - 10/20/2011, 8:28 AM
Yeah that really shows the quality this movie will be
Spidey91 - 10/20/2011, 8:29 AM
maybe that's how is gonna be the reveal of the aliens:
aliens attack,everything is exploding and no one knows what's going on,people running around the streets in panic,some dude/chick is filming the attack with his/her iPhone when we see the POV of the cellphone and emerging from the dust and ashes we get our first glimpse of the invaders.
Dynamo - 10/20/2011, 8:30 AM
@Intruder, I disagree. The most "grainy and shaded" Marvel movie I think is Cap. Even so, that's not what my problem is. The contrast level is the problem. Example, look at the scene where Fury is introduced. The black on his suit is very reflective, so much so it doesn't look dark anymore. And I'm not saying it should be very dark, quite the opposite actually. Take a film like Star Trek, that film has beautiful cinematography. It had some really dark shading in some scenes but the lighting made everything look slick and glossy. That's what I think the Avengers should look like.
Spidey91 - 10/20/2011, 8:32 AM
@HelaGood

still not as blatant as the Hot Wheels construct in Green Lantern :P
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