Apple released new short movie Snowbrawl, which was shot on iPhone 11 Pro. It was directed by David Leitch (known from John Wick, Atomic blonde, Deadpool 2, etc…) and it tells a story of one snowball fight. Both the final movie and behind-the-scenes can be watched on YouTube.
Apple is known to take advantage of powerful marketing tools. It is not the first time they made a famous filmmaker use their product to shoot a short film. Some even shot a full-length feature films with iPhones. There is a useful (but not exhaustive) list of movies shot on iPhone at Indiewire. This time they asked David Leitch to make something with the new iPhone 11 Pro, which features very capable set of cameras.
David Leitch is a Hollywood film director, actor, stuntman, writer, producer, and stunt coordinator. He co-directed John Wick (2014), directed Atomic Blonde (2017), Deadpool 2 (2018), or the Fast and Furious spin off: Hobbs and Shaw (2019).
Snowbrawl – Shot on iPhone 11 Pro
Snowbrawl is a short movie (the final published edit only has 1:34), but Leitch and his crew were able to tell a captivating story in that short amount of time. It sets the scene to a snowball fight. Leitch says it is an “underdog” story. The main character is a young girl, which is in a snowball fight with her older brother. They both have a couple of friends by their sides. In the end, the younger “underdog” team of course wins the snowball fight and claims the price in form of a teddy bear.
In behind-the-scenes video (which was also shot on the iPhone 11 Pro), David Leitch talks about various aspects of this shoot. He talks about the story and how important the choreography was in this piece.
We can also see some interesting behind-the-scenes footage of rigged iPhones. It looks like majority of the clips were shot hand-held and some of them with a gimbal. They also mounted the iPhone to different props for unique angles.
What I find interesting, is that I did not see any ND filter mounted to the phone in any of the BTS shots. I would expect that to be the most important accessory. I am guessing they used ND filters, but took them off for the BTS shots, because Apple wanted their triple cameras to be seen.
If you look closely though, you can see that most of these clips where shot with a high shutter speed, but that only amplifies the hectic look of the piece, which of course sports the story in this case.
It also didn’t look like he used any accessory lenses (e.g. the ones from Moment) for the shoot, only the original built-in lenses were used.
Even though the new iPhones are indeed very capable tools for filmmakers, it is the stuff around what makes this short movide stand out. Leitch had a fairly large crew by his side. There was a lighting crew on set as well. Right lighting along with the post production and sound design were the key factors in the final look of the movie. With the well-lit scenes, the limitations of the phone and its 8-bit codec can be minimised.
What do you think of this short movie? Did you shoot something with an iPhone 11 Pro already? How do you like its video capabilities? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.