Kathryn Bigelow Shows How the New iPhone Puts "Hollywood In Your Pocket"

Credit: Apple
How is the iPhone 13 about to revolutionize the way you shoot videos at home? 

Yesterday, we found out the iPhone 13 Pro features an all-new Cinematic mode. And let me tell you, we are very excited about it.

So is two-time Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow. She got her hands on the tech early to shoot a really fun short showcasing what the phone can do. 

Spoiler alert, it lets you shift focus from the foreground to the background, has a 3x optical zoom, advanced low-light performance, macro video, advanced stabilization, and it shoots in ProRes. Apple says that "it’s Hollywood in your pocket." 

Check out the short to see if they prove it. 

This is a stunning look at what you can achieve now with an iPhone. We see beautiful action shots, creative angles, amazing color, and the mobility and moveability of shooting with something so light and easy to handle. 

I love when it shifts to the behind-the-scenes takes, and we see people with selfie sticks doing complex camera moves usually reserved for Steadicam operators. It seems wild, but just the ability to rack focus on this phone has changed the game. In a quest to make things look more cinematic, Apple has reached the top of the mountain. 

How long before we see a feature film shot with these? Time will tell. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.     

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Your Comment

21 Comments

I am sure many would disagree, but this should be sold as a great video shooting smartphone and not some Hollywood in your Pockey BS. Adding a director to the promos, with thousands of dollars in lighting, much of what is visible and some which isn't and a high contrast grade, everything done by some of the biggest named in the industry, IMHO, reeks of dishonesty. We should be grateful, that the ad didn't claim, that, this is better than the Alexa. On larger screens, smartphone footage still looks very amateurish and low resolution. The 4k looks like curiously grainy 480p.

September 15, 2021 at 4:14PM, Edited September 15, 4:14PM

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sandy sandy
Filmmaker
156

Image looks digital shit, no matter how big production values you add.

September 17, 2021 at 3:50AM

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Javier Diez
Director
652

“reeks of dishonesty”

Surely if they wanted to be dishonest they would’ve kept Bigalow’s participation out of the promos and not let anyone know that a Hollywood filmmaker had a hand in the making of it?

September 20, 2021 at 10:29AM

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Tekin Sahan
Filmmaker
22

While this is definitely exciting in some ways, I think NFS should be slightly less credulous. I'd like to try this phone as a vlogging camera, but I have my doubts about computational DOF and so should anyone who likes cameras.

September 15, 2021 at 5:05PM

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Jesse
7

This commercial is misleading and totally wrong!
They show the capabilities of the phone? You don’t get filming, makeup, lighting crew and equipment along with the phone. What about locations, wardrobe, catering?
To be honest, show the cinematic images of how some random guy in his living room gets a footage of a real movie :D

September 15, 2021 at 10:48PM

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Regis.U
Filmmaker
200

“you don’t get filming, makeup, lighting crew, and equipment with the phone. What about locations, wardrobes, catering?”

Are you implying those things come with a camera purchase? Cause if they do I want that camera now.

September 20, 2021 at 10:41AM, Edited September 20, 10:41AM

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Tekin Sahan
Filmmaker
22

Wonderful and inspiring! I know that there are a lot of pixel peepers and 'big' camera aficionados out there - I suspect they're either heavily invested in (rapidly depreciating) expensive gear and/or anxious about a huge wave of filmmakers unleashed (now as competition) with their easily accessible filmmaking tools. The camera will just keep getting better...

September 16, 2021 at 12:13AM

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Marc Baptista
Filmmaker
81

this makes me crazy. and yeah, NFS of all people, should know better.
... what is film making ? among other things, it's composing shots, telling a story and painting a picture with your camera. YOURSELF. Using your individual expression.

iPhones give you a computational DoF. You can actually achieve real depth of field with Android smartphones with Filmic Pro, and the benefit of a good supplemental lens, and some shooting techniques. Do you really want apple deconstructing your shot pixel by pixel, manipulating the image and using AI to give you depth of field ?

iPhones force Exposure Compensation down your throat. Going for a light and shadow look ? Want to play with your dynamic range ? Forget it: iPhone arbitrarily lifts your shadows, and tamps down your brights, to get a nice safe (unrealistic) "balanced" exposure that does away with contrast .. and does away with your creative input.

Apple has a long history of this. (Final Cut Pro, anyone ?) selling out professionals, and going for the much broader and much more lucrative enthusiast market. These pro iPhones are expensive point and shoot toys that give vloggers and soccer moms a great smartphone that let's auto settings and AI do most of the work. A filmmaker's camera, it ain't.

September 16, 2021 at 6:31AM, Edited September 16, 6:37AM

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Not buying the Apple products. I will wait until iphones will have built in ND and black pro mist filters with LUT support. And yes... an XLR imput for external mic ;P

September 16, 2021 at 11:50AM

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Regis.U
Filmmaker
200

If only storytelling was about the cool things the camera can do.

September 16, 2021 at 7:35AM

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Exactly! What's always going to be lacking is story telling. Most people making movies not only have no idea how to tell a story but have no interesting story to tell anyway. The camera is the least of our concern, this is not the weakest link anymore, as it used to be when we all had Sony PD 150 or else. The weakest links are the actors, the crew, the locations, the light, the knowledge and the lack of knowledge.

September 18, 2021 at 5:07AM

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My understanding is the Cinematic Mode only shoots 1080p in 30fps. If true, it’s hardly “cinematic”, seeing as 24fps is the general standard film frame rate, and compressed 1080 is not gonna hold up on a big screen as opposed to 4K. I hope I’m wrong.

September 16, 2021 at 7:47AM

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Geoff Murrin
Retired
93

Why doesn't apple just make a small thousand dollar video camera? They could even put in a swappable battery. Nothing like your pocket lint giving you some epic lens diffusion. I don't need a phone that's a cinema camera.

September 16, 2021 at 9:33AM

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The only thing that matters is if you can tell a story that connects with an audience. THATS IT. The camera does not matter.

That being said, this is very cool and definitely nothing that hasn’t been happening already. And yes, you CAN shoot a movie on your phone and have it play in theaters. End of story.

September 16, 2021 at 1:05PM

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All the money, talent and haze in the world can't fix those ugly highlights. Yes, you can absolutely shoot a film on this phone, but the same was true for basically all midrange and high-end phones (ios and android) of the last few years. Let's not pretend any of these images look better than a Blackmagic Pocket 4K -- they don't come close -- but as we're all saying, story is king, and I'd rather watch a killer story shot on a phone, than any Transformers film.

September 16, 2021 at 2:25PM

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It's not "Hollywood"... if you can't manually focus or control DOF with an adjustable aperture, if you can't do slo-mo and if you can't change lenses.
Smart phone "cinematography" is a joke!

September 17, 2021 at 1:45AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1601

I'm glad we have yet another powerful tool. It's not going to take the place of a Panavision, Arri, Sony, Canon, Nikon, Red, or Panasonic camera, but I can definitely see the potential for it, especially for documentary work.

September 17, 2021 at 10:33AM

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It will be interesting to see what flavor of ProRes they can give us in the iPhone 13. Could they possibly do ProRes HQ at 24 fps? Of course, the film "Tangerine" was shot on iPhone using Filmic Pro which grabs a higher bit-rate out of the sensor than does (or did) your standard video app. Exciting stuff from Apple.

September 17, 2021 at 11:07AM

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Scott Wilson
Filmmaker - Director
1

Most commenters here seem to have missed the point, which is that the iPhone (13 in this case) can be a tool to do something great. Why bitch about directors, lighting, makeup etc.? It is a TOOL (camera), no one is claiming that you don't need production input? Come on guys, if someone showed you a power drill being used to put together a kit house, you wouldn't complain that you need the house parts?

Nor is anyone saying that the iPhone 13 replaces your Arri or Red or C300 cameras. What they are showing is the capability that you can now have in your pocket and instead of spending $50k to $100k on just the camera, you can now produce something with a bunch of $2k iPhones, and of course you still need a story, a DOP, actors, makeup, lighting cgi, etc. etc.. So please keep it in perspective!

September 17, 2021 at 3:46PM, Edited September 17, 3:46PM

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Paul Nofilmschool
Video Production
81

New prices if iphone 13 are horrible.

September 18, 2021 at 5:18AM

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Hardik Pandaya
Blogger
9

It’s advertising folks. Don’t take this post literally. No reputable DOP is shaking in their boots at the iPhone 13 putting them out of business. This post is polished click bait and advertising nothing more.

September 18, 2021 at 7:53AM

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Rob
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