Short film shot on iPhone 13 Pro is dark, goofy, and incredibly spectacular

Short film shot on iPhone 13 Pro is dark, goofy, and incredibly spectacular
Apple always loves to promote the prowess of its latest iPhone cameras with various "Shot on iPhone" campaigns. The latest one includes a contest, which dared users to enter their best macro photos taken with the iPhone 13 Pro. However, it seems Apple had another trick up its sleeve — a short film made by South Korean film director Park Chan-wook, known for the incredible "Oldboy". 

Fair warning, it starts off a bit dark, as the story begins with an undertaker digging up and stealing an old coffin in order to bury a hero that saved their village. Then, it will take you through all sorts of emotions — there's a lot of goofiness, there's action, there are dramatic moments. But pretty much every scene is spectacular. Truly a work of art, many will say.

If you dissect the shots, you can see that the director made use of all the iPhone 13 Pro's cameras — there are macro shots, wide angle shots, and there's a lot of heavy usage of the new Cinematic Mode. And hey, I applaud Apple for showcasing this with seemingly minimum post-edit tampering. If you look for it, you can definitely see where Cinematic Mode's faux bokeh effect produced some bugs — some things that should be in focus are blurred and vice versa.

As you probably know, Cinematic Mode is a new feature for the entire iPhone 13 lineup, which is kind of like "Portrait Mode but for video". It also features "rack focusing", which simulates the slow focus shift of a true video camera. In our review of the iPhone 13 Pro, we noted that Cinematic Mode is still "not there", producing some visual bugs and glitches that reminded us of the early days of Portrait Mode. But hey — apparently, someone out there can make it work!

No doubt, there's a lot of knowledge about lighting, a lot of external accessories and stabilizers used, and a lot of experimentation involved. The hands of a world-renowned director probably also help here. However, aspiring directors and film makers who want to experiment with stuff and make their own videos can definitely pick up a thing or two from this work — inspiration being probably one of those things.

For those looking to make a deep dive, Apple also shared a "Making of" video for the short film, which goes further into detail how the scenes were set up and shot:

While the clip is short, you can definitely see the plethora of external accessories needed to make the shots work. Still, that doesn't take away from the fact that the iPhone 13 Pro produced spectacular visuals. The director definitely worked hard to make the scenes colorful and dreamlike and the phone's camera apparently met the demands. 

Does the iPhone 13 Pro fully replace an actual film-oriented camera? Probably not, or at least not at this stage. However, it is more than capable of being a "secondary camera" — those on a budget can simply plop an iPhone off to the side and have a second angle basically for free. Well, OK, for $999, but we assume that you would've bought a smartphone in the first place.

The iPhone 13 line's cameras had minor improvements over the 12 line, but they are noticeable when you are a hardcore user, dead-set on pulling the most color, details, and light from a scene. The slight increase in sensor size only makes a tiny difference, so if you are a casual user, you will probably not care too much. However, shutterbugs all over the world have been praising the 13 Pro's camera.
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