Snowbrawl – Impressive iPhone 11 Pro Short Movie by David Leitch

December 3rd, 2019
Snowbrawl - Impressive iPhone 11 Pro Short Movie by David Leitch

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.

Snowbrawl – Movie shot on iPhone 11 Pro. Source: Apple

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. The handheld rig used on the photos is the Beastgrip Pro. 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.

iPhone 11 Pro rigged to a prop. Source: Apple

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.

Snowbrawl – Movie shot on iPhone 11 Pro. Source: Apple

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.

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Mike Sita
Mike Sita
Member
December 7th, 2019

I think most are missing the point of this. Yes there’s a budget, a crew, lighting, sound design…etc. That’s obvious and I don’t think they were trying to hide any of that at all. What they were trying to do was to simply swap in the iphone for any high end camera and say hey, look what the image potential of the iPhone can be when put through all the same paces as any other camera. They’re simply trying to show that the image quality is there, which at the end of the day it pretty much is. I personally thought this short looked great. People have to remember that while camera does make a difference, it’s not the most important thing on set. I found myself engaged with the story, shot selection, pacing and music more then the actual image quality anyway.

And this, by the way, is coming from a Venice owner.

Luke
Luke
Guest
December 8th, 2019
Reply to  Mike Sita

THANK YOU Mike… Some people just can’t have fun lol

Mike Sita
Mike Sita
Member
December 9th, 2019
Reply to  Luke

You’re welcome! Some people just don’t get the point.

It’s not about the budget.
It’s not about the crew.

Nobody is saying there isn’t both here.

It’s just a promotional video. A video to generate buzz about the product. To boost sales maybe a bit. To grab maybe a little bragging rights. To basically generate some cool buzz about the product during the biggest consumer spending month of the year.

That’s all it is.

It’s not like any pro is gonna actually switch over and use ANY phone as their professional work horse camera, so this isn’t selling the pros. And very few people switch phones these days due to the camera. Most phone cameras are pretty damn good and certainly good enough that the average person couldn’t tell the difference to care enough anyway. So it’s not selling the average person either.

So who’s it for?

Everyone. It’s just a cool video shot by a name director who’s very current that people can talk about and say “that was cool”. That’s it.

And if they sell a few extra units along the way…even better.

But there’s no false advertising going on here. Only some fun and cool advertising.

Dan-Petru Varga
Dan-Petru Varga
Guest
December 6th, 2019

Minor change in title: Impressive anyPhone* Pro Short
* starting from 300 euro

The best shot is Apple logo reveal at the end

Roberto Mettifogo
Member
December 5th, 2019

The point is that when you know the craft, have a crew, have time to dedicate to pre production and all the rest, have an orchestra and a sound designer and have a production paying you for a project that delivers on smartphones display, yes image quality becomes of secondary importance. They have 2 iphones, with the same money you buy a bmpcc4k with 3 cine meike and you can do the same with much better iq.

A
A
Member
December 5th, 2019

Just me or that fake overlay snow is really annoying

Ingo
Ingo
Guest
December 5th, 2019

As mentioned here before even though its shot on an iPhone 11 the cost and effort of this project must have been quite big with such a crew etc. I did some iPhone 10 shooting for a documentary and it has a lot of limitations. If a scene lit badly the codec just looks crap, if you watch it on a normal tv the shutter speed which you cant control (unless with Filmic pro…at least somewhat) in most cases renders the image unusable unless maybe for action scenes. Shallow depth of field forget about it unless its used with an external lense and very likely ND filters. Im in Europe so we use 25p instead of 30p here often, but to this day Apple has been unable to make 25p available for its camera app. Even though the iPhone camera may be quite good for web videos its still a long way to make it a really good film making tool that can compete with a camera that is especially made for it

 Markus Magnon
Markus Magnon
Member
December 4th, 2019

Why such a high shutter speed?
Also… this might work for action scenes. But if want some depth of field you have to switch the camera. Also the skin tones looks kinda weird. And the whole image got some HDR feel to it. There is some software processing going on to get more Dynamic Range out of this camera but it just looks weird, too.

Johnny Wu
Johnny Wu
Guest
December 3rd, 2019

This is kinda false advertisement. If you watch the bts of this you will see pros crew and gear used. The average family don’t have that.

I would be more convinced if the ad was shot only by the director and only with one iPhone without all the supporting factors

Chuck
Chuck
Guest
December 4th, 2019
Reply to  Johnny Wu

And just how good do you think movies shot on Alexa or Red would look without “all the supporting factors”?

Claude Chiarot
Claude Chiarot
Guest
December 3rd, 2019

It a marketing movies, with very large budget, as you said. I won’t put that money on a phone, that mandatory software updates will make it less usable over time…to push you buying the latest.
Maybe YouTube geek are the target of this campaign.

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