The Painter of Jalouzi

Two Filmmakers Capture the Colourful Story of a Painter from Haiti Through The iPhone’s New 4K Camera

Last week, Apple captivated the world once again with the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. As with all Apple releases, scores of people lined up days in advance waiting for their new apple products. But some people are lucky; take RYOT films’ Bryn Mooser and David Darg, who received the products in advance. What they did with them, however, was something extraordinary. Almost 2,000 miles away from their base in the US, there was a story waiting to be told. “The Painter of Jalouzi” is a short film they created using the new technology.

Duval Pierre is a painter from Jalouzi (pronounced Jah-loo-zee), a slum in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. David tells us, “Duval’s been working with me for years, and his energy and spirit are infections. We wanted to capture that on film.” The beautiful short film is just 8 minutes long, and poetically captures the vibrancy of Jalouzi, in all its glory. With the iPhone 6s shooting in 4K (the highest quality video out at the moment), Bryn and David were able to create a quality film with depth that has not been done before when shooting on a smartphone.

We checked in with the creators to get their take on what it was like shooting with the new iPhone and more.

The Plus: How did RYOT films come about?
Bryn Mooser & David Darg:
We founded RYOT in Haiti, where we were both living and working after the 2010 earthquake, it became the first news site that linked news and action.

With RYOT we wanted to create a place where the news didn’t just tell you what was going on in the world but what you could do about it.

TP: What made you decide to take the iPhone 6s Plus to Haiti?
We’ve been working in Haiti since 2010, and always thought it was the perfect place to show a colorful world with the new 4k camera.

TP: Have you always been passionate about film? Where did it begin for you both?
We’ve been shooting films for nonprofits for the last decade, but it wasn’t until after moving to Haiti that we started to make bigger films. So it’s great to come back to where it started.

TP: What was it like working with the iPhone 6s Plus? Is the quality really as good as described?
The quality is great. It’s going to transform filmmaking forever. Now you’re able to have a 4k camera in the palm of your hand and it also has the ability to upload directly. This is the real game-changer we’ve been waiting for.

TP: Do you enjoy working with new technology?
Yeah! New technology in filmmaking has the power to give people from all walks the ability to make beautiful films. As technology increases more people are able to have cameras in their pockets. We’ve always felt like the best camera in the world is the one that’s in your hand.

TP: How does working on an iPhone 6s Plus compare with working using more traditional equipment?
It’s exciting to have a 4k camera that fits so small in the palm of your hand. It’s great to be able to not have to carry a heavy camera when you want to shoot. You can just point it at the subject and go. We’re so blown away with the quality.

TP: Do you have any upcoming projects on the way? Will there be more content shot on the iPhone 6s Plus?
Definitely. Right now, we’re using it to shoot with citizen journalists all over the world. We’re taking it with us everywhere we’re going to bring the stories from the people on the ground to audiences everywhere in a higher quality than ever seen before.