Were trying to film a vine using an iphone. We want to have a first person shot of falling off of a building. Our budget is £20.

Is there a way we can get this shot without damaging the iphone nor jumping from the building and killing one of us in the process? I was thinking of some kind of camera protector if they exist...how do amateurs get falling shots?

4 Answers 4


A dad and his young son sent an iPhone to space, had it fall back to earth and got it back safely. You could have a look at their rig for inspiration (basically a polystyrene box and a parachute).


I have another idea, based on a cliff-jumping technique (which I can't remember the name of).

1) Decide on a suitably tall building that has roof access.

2) Get a rope that is a meter shorter than the building is tall.

3) Build a sturdy case for the iPhone, attached to one end of the rope. The case only needs to have one small hole for the camera lens. (I would build it of paper or cardboard, and then wrap it with duct tape.)

4) At the top of the roof, one person holds the camera and that end of the rope, at the edge of the roof. Another person holds the camera and moves SEVERAL METERS AWAY from the person holding the rope, also standing at the edge of the roof.

5) When the phone is dropped it will only free-fall partway down the building before the rope becomes straight. HOWEVER, since the person holding the rope isn't directly above the falling iPhone, the rope will more GENTLY swing the phone to the side instead of stopping it abruptly.

Test this first with something that weighs the same as your iPhone but isn't as valueable (like a piece of wood or a small book). Figure out where to stand so it doesn't hit the wall when it's swinging.

I hope this works! Good luck!!

  • Great practical expansion on what I said about a rope. Can't emphasis enough that the chances of breaking the phone are still pretty high though. Glass and even those limited g-forces don't go well together, particularly at the mentioned price limit.
    – AJ Henderson
    Feb 7, 2014 at 21:50
  • Thanks @AJHenderson! I think the chances of the phone breaking are lower, but it's definitely still a possibility!! Feb 7, 2014 at 23:18

With a £20 budget, you don't have much in the way of options. Your best bet is probably going to be a piece of rope and a case to attach to the rope, but I'd still give you a decent chance of breaking the phone in the process. The most typical way to get a shot like this is either a camera that can be destroyed or using a crane, neither is likely within your price range though.


Find a tall slide in a playground, and slide the phone down that. If you cut it right, you could show the hero's face, then swish pan to what appears to be a P.O.V. but you actually CUT to your shot from the slide (which should start with a swish pan).

You could also probably fake it by placing the camera 10 meters from a building and panning down quickly. If you cut that in between your "I'm at the top of a building" shot and your "I just landed on the ground" shot, that would look pretty believable.

You could get a more comedic effect with a tall still shot of the front of a building, which you could "truck" down in post production (like in iMovie). I trucked horizontally across a still shot in post-production, to give the appearance that I was panning with a pie as it flew across the sky. The pie was a picture-in-picture element in iMovie, and the background was a very wide shot of trees (aspect ratio of about 1x10).

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