The iPhone is one of the leading smartphones when it comes to just about everything, but especially in the camera department. And film directors are certainly no stranger to trying out the hardware for their own efforts.
The latest to attempt this is director John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, Step Up 2: The Streets). WIRED has the full report on how it all came together, with Chu saying that he used “literally no” equipment while taking advantage of the dual 12 megapixel cameras on the iPhone XS Max. So instead of taking advantage of different lighting equipment, or lenses, or other hardware, Chu only used the iPhone XS Max to shoot this short film, which measures in at just over two minutes.
The film itself is entitled Somewhere and it features dancer Luigi Rosado’s rehearsal space. The slo-mo areas are shot at 240 frames per second, and the short film was shot in 4K on the largest iPhone to date.
“Chu shot the film—a view into dancer Luigi Rosado’s rehearsal space, titled Somewhere—in 4K using the iPhone’s native camera app. It was all shot handheld using the phone’s default stabilizing system. And while he edited the video on a computer, Chu didn’t apply any color correction or any post-production tricks. What you’re seeing is the default output of the iPhone’s camera.”
Chu had a lot to praise about the cameras, pointing out that autofocus is a huge bonus factor, with the iPhone XS Max able to quickly identify the subject of a shot while in motion, thanks to the built-in stabilization. What’s more, the camera’s ability to capture accurate colors really stood out to the director who is well known for using a wide, and bright, color range in his own films.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, tweeted out about the film. You can watch the short film in the tweet as well:
Handheld. No equipment. No effects. Amazing work by Crazy Rich Asians director @jonmchu — shot on iPhone XS Max. Moves by @Luigiskmz. More from @WIRED: https://t.co/E897Me2w6fpic.twitter.com/DkdjT2ZpMA
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 19, 2018
This is certainly not the first time a major film director has used an iPhone to shoot a film. Late in 2017 we heard about Unsane, a horror film from director Steven Soderbergh. That was shot entirely on an iPhone, and actually saw wide distribution into theaters. It was received well enough by critics and fans.
What do you think of Chu’s short film, Somewhere?
This short film is great by itself, and the fact it was shot on the iPhone XS Max is outstanding, too. Any future owners of this handset, or the iPhone XS for that matter, are going to be plenty happy with their phone’s camera.