Introducing Koji Go for iPhone

koji go blog


At first, it seems like a strange idea – why create professional film emulation for the iPhone? Who would turn to the the iPhone to create a beautiful film?

The answer, we believe, is: Soon, all of us will.

The iPhone has become a real filmmaking tool – we just haven’t realized it yet, because it has happened so quickly. The iPhone camera and color processing are technically amazing and aesthetically elegant.

In fact, the iPhone is the perfect platform for Koji. With so much imaging horsepower under the hood, the iPhone can now produce images with plenty of raw material for Koji to sink its teeth into.

So we developed Koji Go, a simple iOS app that lets you apply Koji film emulation to your iPhone photos and videos.

Koji Go comes with 3 versatile motion picture film stocks, and you can explore 16 more looks in the Koji Go store.

The looks in Koji Go were developed by Dale Grahn, our longtime partner in developing Koji and the color timer for Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola (among many others). Dale developed these looks specifically to work with iPhone images. The looks are based on his work on various films, including Minority Report, Gladiator, Amistad, and others.

To create the film stocks in Koji Go, we worked with film labs (both photochemical and digital) to make thousands of careful measurements of real physical 35mm motion picture film stock. We then adapted this, with Dale’s help, to work with the iPhone camera. The result is a film lab that you can hold in your hand.

We’re very excited to bring true motion picture film color to the iPhone for the first time. We hope you enjoy using it to create beautiful films on the iPhone.

Check out Koji Go in the App Store.

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How to make a supercar commercial

Few people own a supercar; even fewer get to make a supercar commercial. But that’s exactly what editor Nima Rezai recently did, completing post on a 90-second spot for the Rezvani Beast. He used Koji to create his final color grade and was kind enough to chat with us about it.

But first off, here’s the spot:

Who was the client, and what were they looking for?

The client was Rezvani Motors, a startup supercar company based here in California. They were looking for a commercial to match their uncompromising performance vehicle. One that doesn’t rely on computer systems, but just the driver and the road. It was inspired by fighter aircraft. So, we took that into account when building the look and feel of the piece. In some ways, it was to mimic the feeling of a jet fighter cockpit. Minimal, but sensory oriented.

Can you talk about the shoot a little? What camera and equipment did you use?

We shot 2 consecutive days at a warehouse in LA and on a racetrack in the Mojave desert with a professional race car driver. We filmed using a RED DRAGON in 4k with mostly the lowest compression setting. We also over cranked quite a bit to capture the car without too much motion blur. We used steadicam to aid in the flow of the movements.

Inside the warehouse, our DP John Honore and director Amir Motlagh went with a minimal light setup, including one HMI to add a bit of stylization and kick for some of the solo car shots. Many of the other shots in the warehouse used only natural overhead lighting from the sun. This was a byproduct of a beautiful, consistent day in Southern California. Of course we used some flags and overheads for shaping, but the location did most of the work.

What was your editing/post workflow?

All editing/post was done by me in Final Cut 10.2.1 using the RED RAW workflow for greater control over detail and color.

Why did you use Koji, and what value did it add to your production?

Koji has been my go-to plugin for all the spots that I shoot myself using my Panasonic GH4. I’m able to get a lot of great looking footage using a flat profile on the camera and using Koji in post to really get the look I’m going for.

Our initial plans for the Beast commercial included a color house for 2 spots. But by the time we got going, I presented an alternate grade to them for the 90 second spot using Koji and they were extremely happy. I was able to achieve the film look I was going for while keeping the color of the car true to its original gray color. The client was very satisfied with the video and specifically the color grade we achieved.

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