Lost in Budapest

Explore the City Like Never Before in This Film Shot by iPhone

Even if you haven’t been to Budapest before, prepare to be immersed in the Hungarian capital thanks to Alessandro Meraviglia’s latest short film. The Italian filmmaker entitled it “Lost in Budapest”. He explains that due to the divide between Buda and Pest, “while you’re walking through the cities you feel lost, because of the many differences between the two areas.” The film is a whirlwind tour of all aspects on the city, neatly fit into the short film format.

Alessandro’s short film was shot entirely on an iPhone 6, and the quality is stunning. Filmmakers are increasingly opting to use iPhone’s in their work (for example, see Sean S. Baker’s award-winning 2015 film “Tangerine”). For Alessandro, using an iPhone made the project feel a lot more real. He describes how “I wanted to convey the idea that everybody can enjoy filming without spending too much on a camera, and that even with the most common smartphone on the planet you can shoot great videos that can show everybody how gorgeous a place is.” Whilst this was a tough challenge, Alessandro rose to the opportunity to try something new.

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After studying at art school, Alessandro became interested in photography. The natural progression from this for him was film, and he hasn’t looked back. He tells us that “now, shooting and recording is part of my life: it’s my job and my passion. I try to make my viewers feel what I felt when I shot the scenes,” hence the realism of much of his work.

We caught up with Alessandro to hear a bit more about his latest project.

The Plus: What is it that attracts you to Budapest? What is it about the city that makes it such an interesting place to film?
Alessandro Meraviglia:
Budapest is such a gorgeous city that feels alive in someway. Its history is represented by its historical monuments and by the huge number of beautiful spots that inspired me. During the day you can see countless colours and at the night, when all the lights go on, the panorama becomes really stunning and inspiring like it was a drawing.
We explored the most famous places like ordinary tourists, but we didn’t stop there: we kept on exploring, and finding little hidden spots outside the usual touristic route. This is where we found what we think is the true beauty of the city.

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TP: Can you tell us a bit about how you shot this short film.
AM:
The iPhone has different shooting modes, like slowmotion and timelapse. I tried to use them in order to give dynamism to my film. I focused on everything I found interesting at a given moment, without thinking too much about the postproduction.

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TP: How did you get into filmmaking?
AM:
I started over 6 years ago, after I finished art school where I got passionate about photography. I started experimenting, focusing on different subjects everyday, from portraits to landscapes. Every shot was teaching me something. I started working for many clubs in Milan that wanted pictures during their gigs. I tried making a shortfilm during one of those gigs and I enjoyed it a lot. I started editing and here I am.

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TP: What is it that you like about the short film format?
AM:
It’s direct and simple. It isn’t boring and it’s for everyone. I can bring you around the world in a couple of minutes. People want to be surprised. You have to know how to excite in the first few seconds. And the end of it, people should say: “Wow” and they should talk about it. In the era of social networks, this is crucial.

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TP: What projects do you have coming up this year?
AM:
The firm I work with (toogether.it) allows me to travel a lot. Next stop is Russia where I’ll be able to create another short film!