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Apple today shared a short film called "The Comeback," which has been released in celebration of Chinese New Year. Created by director Zhang Meng, the video kicks off the Year of the Tiger with the story of a father, a son, and a forgotten village with an "out-of-this-world dream."


The 23 minute film was shot using the latest iPhone (which is the iPhone 13 Pro) like all of the videos in Apple's ongoing "Shot on iPhone" series. Though filmed in Chinese, Apple has also added English subtitles for those who do not speak the language.

Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, begins on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, and it is a major holiday in China and other countries. Apple previously shared a Chinese gift guide on its websites in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao that features iPhone 13 models, AirPods, and more.

Apple also introduced special edition AirPods Pro and special edition Beats Studio Buds with custom-designed tiger themes as 2022 is the Year of the Tiger on the Chinese calendar.

Article Link: Apple Shares 'Shot on iPhone 13 Pro' Film Celebrating Chinese New Year
 

LoveTo

macrumors regular
Oct 3, 2021
116
917
To be honest, it doesn’t look that spectacular. Not worth bragging that it was shot on an iPhone. We can clearly tell that it was shot on a phone, and not on a professional camera.
 
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movielad

macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2005
120
219
Surrey
It very much reminds me of a Chinese version of Michel Gondry's "Be Kind Rewind" where the whole community comes out to make a movie. It's a love letter to cinema, the imagination and people coming together to share a passion. This is one of Apple's best ads yet IMHO.
 
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Baritone_Guy

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2021
125
275
And how long it took to transfer all that ProRes footage ;)

Let's hope the iPhone 14 Pro models come with USB-C and Thunderbolt/USB-4 speeds this year.
While I would love what you ask for, we are more likely to get a cable free phone than USB-C I think. Apple not doing USB-C makes my phone the only thing I use that doesn’t use it. Drives me crazy.
 

tomO2013

macrumors member
Feb 11, 2020
67
102
Canada
I have to say - I'm constantly reminded that it is not about the gear but your imagination and what you choose to do with it. I think Apples video is great - really really enjoyed it. A lot of creative thinking went into thinking about how to maximize the iPhones strengths and work around its limitations!

Many years ago there was a YouTube channel called DigitalRev with Kai Wong and Lok (they have their own YouTube show now) where they had this gimmick called 'Pro Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge'.

 

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,913
1,620
To be honest, it doesn’t look that spectacular. Not worth bragging that it was shot on an iPhone. We can clearly tell that it was shot on a phone, and not on a professional camera.
Well, it is still quite nice video quality for a phone, and I don't think anyone is really expecting have the same colour rendition as a $100,000 Arri.

What is a little bit deceptive is that production almost certainly used many, many times the cost of the phone in other production gear, e.g. lights, gimbals, dollies, jibs, drones etc.
 

mrgraff

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2010
1,093
862
Albuquerque
Well, it is still quite nice video quality for a phone, and I don't think anyone is really expecting have the same colour rendition as a $100,000 Arri.

What is a little bit deceptive is that production almost certainly used many, many times the cost of the phone in other production gear, e.g. lights, gimbals, dollies, jibs, drones etc.
They even list the additional equipment on screen @ 1:53 But I couldn't help but notice that the subtitles are extremely small, blurry, and in a hard-to-read white color on that particular frame's background.
 
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BGPL

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2016
964
2,627
California
Has very little to do with the phone, more to do with the operator, and the other 90% to do with production. To me, it looks like a movie shot on a bunch of phones. It looks great, don't get me wrong, but that's all production.
 

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,913
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They even list the additional equipment on screen @ 1:53 But I couldn't help but notice that the subtitles are extremely small, blurry, and in a hard-to-read white color on that particular frame's background.
They simply say "additional hardware and software was used. Professionally edited". That could mean anything.

I haven't watched the whole thing, but I would say that at the very least they had decent lighting, a gimbal, probably a tripod, an external microphone (at least some of the external audio sounds boom mic'd to me) and a drone (presumably with the iPhone mounted on it, rather than using the drone's camera).

This is certainly good enough quality for a small independent release or film festival, and it is refreshing that the barriers to film making are getting lower from the perspective of camera costs. It wasn't that long ago that you had to rent professional cameras to get a result like this. It also shows that story, script, acting and editing are paramount and equipment is to some degree, secondary.
 

Adarna

Suspended
Jan 1, 2015
685
429
To be honest, it doesn’t look that spectacular. Not worth bragging that it was shot on an iPhone. We can clearly tell that it was shot on a phone, and not on a professional camera.

Market positioning of this is not to replace IMAX cameras or for this to be used in the future MCU features.

It is targeted at entry-level.

At $999-$1,599 it is relatively cheap compared to dedicated cinematic hardware with the bonus of it being able to do near FCP-quality edits in-camera. Can anyone point to any ProRes camera at that price point?

Once the project is wrapped up the owners of the hardware can repurpose them to become.... smartphones again.

The story of this feature is that of a working-class stunt double, his father and the declining rustbelt of a town coming together on a below indie budget. Essentially a sci-fi tourism flick if your thing is all about Mars. In a country of a little over 1.4 billion even a fraction of a fraction of a percent is enough to get people to do tourist things there.

iPhones & Androids cameras were not that good pre-2012. 2012 was when point & shoots and DSLRs peaked. After that it was a straight global shipment decline. I believe this year would be mirror the worldwide volume of year 1999.

This video is good as it shows Apple is trying to expand to other market and is probably the reason why this year's iPhone Pro and Pro Max will finally get USB-C 40Gbps.

Its a brilliant story... from Kung-Fu flicks that is a very original Chinese/Hong Kong export of decades past to today's sci-fi flicks like the Wandering Earh. It highlights the rich cinematic history of a growing market.

Now, if you have no plans to make money from this then it just elevated your household's home video or even corporate videos for SMEs.

I was asked by my boss if we should be buying an R5c for internal training videos. I replied that an iPhone 13 Pro Max instead for our trainer and have them edit it on a gaming laptop. We do not need it to win any Academy award. We just want to making training videos for tasks that that need to be taught to new personnel or as a refresher to old.

The lovely thing about any iPhone vs any Canon EOS Cinematic camera is that the iPhone can be financed at cost by our telco for 24-36 months and have an alternate use with SMS/voice calls/data while the Canon is just.... a camera.

So say $1,599 iPhone divided by 24 or 36 months is = $66.63/month or $44.42. To produce that flick I would not be surprised if they used about a dozen or so Max's to for dedicated visual and dedicated audio.

Adorama/BH can do financing of up to 12 months with anything bought on their store? Bodies like the R5c does not even come close to costing $1,599. Then you need to add lenses that cost the equivalent to an iPhone and its equivalent function is just that.

What will differentiate this video from that of say most Max users would be workflow, thinking process, creative process and production timeline discipline.
 
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anthogag

macrumors 68020
Jan 15, 2015
2,284
3,690
Canada
The movie looks good for "Shot on iPhone". What did they use to record sound?

At the end in the movie they said "what should we call this movie"? In Canadian theatres it would be called "Crap"
 
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Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,913
1,620
The movie looks good for "Shot on iPhone". What did they use to record sound?
Having done a bit of production sound recording, this doesn't sound like it was all recorded on an iPhone - or at least not the same iPhone taking some of the exterior shots. Some of the interior mid-shots & close-ups could be iPhone microphone...but I'm doubtful...sounds too good, and would be impressive if it were the case.

What they may have done is attach iPhones to booms or otherwise hide them out of shot, and record these separate phones for the audio in addition to the phone used for the video.

You could also argue that "shot on iPhone" only refers to the video and not the audio, which could be an external mic connected to the phone as a recorder (or even an external recorder). It's a matter of interpretation.

I wonder whether there any any full production notes about the gear used?
 
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Adarna

Suspended
Jan 1, 2015
685
429
While I would love what you ask for, we are more likely to get a cable free phone than USB-C I think. Apple not doing USB-C makes my phone the only thing I use that doesn’t use it. Drives me crazy.

For the non-Pro iPhone that's believable.
 

JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,895
24,432
Behind the scenes doesn't show any mic booms.

 
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citysnaps

macrumors G5
Oct 10, 2011
12,102
26,183
$1500 dollar phone ... $1,000,000 in equipment and talent.

This video is not for the perpetually cynical, or those lacking creativity and stuck with sclerotic imaginations. Rather, it’s for people with fertile imaginations that still have a sense of wonder and able to dream about the possible. And most importantly, haven’t yet been admonished about what is impossible. A $1,000,000 budget for equipment and talent is certainly not required.

A 12 year old Steven Spielberg, after earning a photography merit badge in Boy Scouts, borrowed his father’s 8mm film movie camera and with a bunch of neighborhood kid friends for actors made his first short film, The Last Gunfight.

The iPhone as a video camera, or as a still camera, has a ton of potential for anyone who has vision, curiosity, imagination and the drive to create. Even if it needs to be borrowed from one's father or mother.
 

Adarna

Suspended
Jan 1, 2015
685
429
This video is not for the perpetually cynical, or those lacking creativity and stuck with sclerotic imaginations. Rather, it’s for people with fertile imaginations that still have a sense of wonder and able to dream about the possible. And most importantly, haven’t yet been admonished about what is impossible. A $1,000,000 budget for equipment and talent is certainly not required.

A 12 year old Steven Spielberg, after earning a photography merit badge in Boy Scouts, borrowed his father’s 8mm film movie camera and with a bunch of neighborhood kid friends for actors made his first short film, The Last Gunfight.

The iPhone as a video camera, or as a still camera, has a ton of potential for anyone who has vision, curiosity, imagination and the drive to create. Even if it needs to be borrowed from one's father or mother.

The popularity of iPhones today is equivalent to those of the Kodak Brownie from 122 years ago.

Imagine if Steven Spielberg was born 3 years after the iPhone 1st came out.

The tools accessible to a middle class household today would allow for better than those 1959's Oscar Award winning titles.

Few people think beyond the box and imagine their smartphone being used to tell a fictional story unless you're in the industry.
 
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