Apple just unveiled a Behind the Scenes video showing how they filmed their ‘Scary Fast’ keynote. It’s causing a bit of a stir because the video reveals that everything was shot on the latest iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Why is this controversial, you may ask? I mean, they are trying to sell more iPhones, so it seems natural to show off the capabilities of the product. However, many people have expressed a certain amount of eye-rolling when they watch the video and see just how much other expensive equipment was used to create the final video.
The filming was directed by documentary maker Brian Oakes. “We were able to get the same complex shots with iPhone 15 Pro Max,” Oakes gushes to Apple’s own coverage of the BTS footage. And yes, what the crew achieved is highly professional quality footage and very impressive.
However, let’s break it down a little. The crew were obviously well-seasoned pros, and they were using robotic jibs and industry-grade gimbals like custom Spacecam rigs. Those things don’t come cheap.
Additionally, the lighting was at a fully professional level. We all know that lighting makes or breaks a production.
So, ultimately, what is Apple trying to say here? That they can put their iPhone in the hands of great filmmakers who have access to incredibly expensive accessories, and they can make it look almost as good as footage from an ARRI? Except, let’s not beat around the bush; it isn’t as good as footage from an ARRI.
Or perhaps they are saying that with the iPhone, a seven-year-old could shoot professional-grade footage? Oh, except that they won’t be able to because they don’t have $50,000 of lighting at their disposal.
One commenter in a photography SubReddit declared that the only outcome from this publicity stunt is that “the largest PITA this is going to cause for real professionals are mid-level managers thinking that photographers and videographers are “a waste of money because my nephew has an iPhone 15″. But hint: they already think that.”
It’s just a camera
Others disagreed that this was problematic, saying, “The point is that the camera is good enough that you can swap it in for a professional camera in certain situations and can’t tell the difference…the lighting is good because the lighting is good.”
Which is a fair point. At this moment, I think we need to just view the iPhone 15 Pro Max as yet another handy camera device that we can use if and when it suits us. And the footage is going to be great as long as the other components of a shoot are great and well-considered. Just like any camera, really.
After all, as photographers, we’d be the first to admit that a great camera doesn’t necessarily mean great photos. And, well, I might be able to stretch my budget to an iPhone. An ARRI, not so much!
What do you think?