In a groundbreaking move, Apple recently introduced its new Macs powered by the M3 chips. However, what stole the spotlight at the “Scary Fast” event was the innovative use of an iPhone for recording the entire presentation.
Apple’s unveiling of the new M3 chip series, alongside the impressive lineup of MacBook Pros and iMacs, showcased a surprising twist. Instead of a new product, the event’s most significant revelation was disclosed with a simple title card: “This event was shot on iPhone and edited on Mac.”
The fine print accompanying the announcement revealed that not only the presenters and locations but even the captivating drone footage were recorded using an iPhone 15 Pro Max. Since 2020, Apple has employed expertly produced prerecorded videos for product launches, but this time marked a historic moment as the entire keynote event video was filmed using an iPhone.
Yes, you read that right—the same device you use to capture everyday moments was the tool behind recording Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and other executives presenting their updated Macs. However, this was far from a casual recording by an enthusiastic Apple employee. The $1,199 iPhone was mounted on a range of sophisticated accessories such as camera cranes, drones, gimbals, and dollies, all while streaming video previews to numerous monitors. The iPhone 15 Pro Max was securely housed within a BeastGrip cage, a premium accessory costing anywhere from $140 to $325, depending on the model. External hard drives were connected to the iPhone to store recordings, professional microphones were used for audio capture, and professional lighting and modifiers ensured that everyone, from Cook to Issa Rae, looked their absolute best.
The video production process, from the shoot to post-production, involved a dedicated team of professionals, demonstrating that even though the primary recording device was an iPhone, the entire production remained a high-budget affair, with costs totaling tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.
Apple has consistently championed the use of iPhones for video production, with notable filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh, who shot full-length films such as “Unsane” and “High Flying Bird” using an iPhone. The world of music videos is also no stranger to iPhone-shot content, with renowned artists like Lady Gaga and Olivia Rodrigo adopting the technology. Even legendary director Steven Spielberg ventured into the realm of iPhone-shot filmmaking with his music video for Marcus Mumford’s “Cannibal.”
In a revealing behind-the-scenes glimpse provided by Apple, it was disclosed that an iPhone 15 Pro Max, equipped with the free Blackmagic Camera app, was utilized to capture ProRes video in Apple Log. This approach provided a broad range for color grading and minimized image noise in low-light settings. Despite the challenging lighting conditions, a significant portion of Apple’s event video was filmed in darkness, with Tim Cook addressing the audience under the night sky, bidding everyone a “good evening” instead of his customary “good morning.”
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This revolutionary use of the iPhone in a high-profile corporate event not only showcases Apple’s commitment to innovation but also highlights the iPhone’s potential in professional filmmaking, setting a new standard for video production within the industry.