Apple has released a film about three generations of Chinese women coming together at Chinese New Year, which was entirely shot on the iPhone 11 Pro.
The film was directed by Theodore Melfi and the Cinematography was Lawrence Sher. If those names sound familiar, they should. Lawrence Sher was the DP for Joker, Godzilla King of Monsters, and The Hangover. Theodore Melfi was the director of the Academy Award-nominated Hidden Figures, as well as St.Vincent. He also was the writer of Going In Style.
The short film also utilizes the talents of Zhou Xun, one of China’s leading actresses.
Chinese New Year — Daughter which is the name of the short film used the iPhone 11 Pro on car mounts, hand held, on gimbals, dollies, and on drones. The production also used software such as Filmic Pro and you can see an Atomos recorder in some of the BTS shots.
What you need to clearly remember is the iPhone 11 Pro is just a tool. Just because you have one doesn’t mean you can just go and create something like this short film. Of course, it is possible, but this production had good actors, professional lighting, lots of people on the crew and a great director and DP.
With all of the equipment, crew, and actors used, the irony is, what does using an iPhone actually accomplish? While it is nice to see what can be done, it is hardly a realistic proposition that a production would go to all this trouble and then use a smartphone.
The phone was hardly the key element in this film, but I think that is the point. If you have a good story you can make it with just about anything these days, including an iPhone. Although, it does help if you have a big budget and access to great actors and all the other associated crew and gear that you want.
Whether or not you like the short film, you can clearly see the technical limitations that were imposed by choosing to use an iPhone. Regardless of all the additional equipment that was used, shooting on an iPhone is only going to get you so far.
What did you think of the short film? What do you think about using smartphones in this capacity? Let us know in the comments section below.