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Apple’s new shot-on-iPhone Christmas ad doesn’t look beginner-friendly at all

Apple has released another of its “shot-on-iPhone” short films, and this one is themed for the upcoming holiday season. “Snowbrawl”, as the latest advert is titled, is an action sequence of—yes, you guessed it—a snowball fight between a few kids. The idea behind the video is to demonstrate the video capabilities of the iPhone 11 Pro series, although additional equipment is used.

The short film is shot by David Leitch, who has also directed blockbusters such as Deadpool 2, and is a pretty intense dramatisation of what appears to be a few kids having an innocuous snowball fight. But before everyone starts to imagine shooting their very own action sequences at their annual Christmas/new year parties, let’s also have a look at a BTS video that Apple also posted on YouTube.

In the video, Leitch explains that the portability of the iPhone was actually a strength for certain shots.

“We were getting creative with the flexibility of the camera. How light they are, how mobile they are. Things that are hard to simulate with big film cameras, we were able to make this classic, kung-fu composition very quickly and easily. It was fun.”

The director also explains that the film is shot in 4K at 60 fps, and says that Hollywood equipment isn’t necessary to tell a great story. Which certainly sounds encouraging for aspiring filmmakers everywhere.

“You don’t need all the equipment I had on these big Hollywood movies to tell a great story.”

But it’s clear that while the iPhone certainly has decent video-taking capabilities, the BTS video shows that quite a bit of additional hardware was used to create Snowbrawl. This includes professional lighting, gimbals, camera cages, and possibly more equipment that can’t be seen in the video.

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And of course, the video is shot by a team of professionals who do it for a living. But I’m not saying that it isn’t a good illustration of what the iPhone 11 Pro can do—far from it. It’s just worth remembering that this isn’t really going to be the end-result if you attempt something similar at home.

Still, it’s a nice message: you don’t need an expensive, professional camera setup to create a good story. All you need is an expensive iPhone.

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