Snippet: What Does and Doesn’t Matter About Apple Shooting Their October Event on iPhone 15 Pro Max ☇

Shared on November 7, 2023

Stu Maschwitz:

Anyone who knows the tiniest bit about video production knows that the camera is a small, but important, but small, part of the overall production picture. “Shot on iPhone” doesn’t promise “and you can do it too” any more than Stanley Kubrick lighting Barry Lyndon with candlelight means anyone with candles can make Barry Lyndon.

But when the camera is the least expensive piece of gear on the set after clothespins and coffee, it does feel strange. I’ve been on a lot of productions like this, having played an active role in the DV filmmaking revolution of the late ’90s-to-early-2000s. It was an odd feeling to scrounge for the adapter plates required to mount a $3,000 DV camcorder purchased at Circuit City to a Fisher dolly that literally has no purchase price.

I dabbled in professional video in my early-20s, almost ending up down that career path. Our go-to was the fairly-modest Sony DSR-PD150, and the people who managed to work wonders with it showed how it wasn’t just the camera. Lighting, planning, good post-production, and little tweaks go a long way—there are a lot of things that matter and a lot that didn’t matter with Apple’s production. In short, it’s really cool that this was done with an iPhone, but the cynics seem to think that’s all you’d need. Likewise, a high-end camera in a novice’s hands without any other gear would also feel wasted.

Even if you don’t have a ton of money or resources, some of the ideas and techniques in Maschwitz’s post can carry over to help make your photos and videos better, or at the very least get you thinking a bit more creatively about the process.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.