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The Death of No One.

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Warning: this blog’s gonna be sassy.

The iPhone 11 pro came out. I have one. I love it. Full disclosure, I love Apple and feel a sense of loyalty to them that can’t be matched. Like I tell my kids, "There are different types of people in this world. Some people use Apple, other people are wrong."

Everyone is impressed with this new commercial, Snowbrawl. Why? It was shot ENTIRELY on an iPhone 11 Pro.

It's great.

The natural conclusion? Every video company is going out of business because we’re no longer needed! "The iPhone has leveled the playing field..." I need to freshen up my CV and tell my family that we’re moving on to plan b.

I’ve seen a lot of things die. Blockbuster, Sears, Google Hangouts, Slogan Tees, pretty sure Facebook’s dead (although that could just be cause I’ve unfriended everyone). But guess what?

The iPhone 11 Pro is killing no one.

There have been a lot of industry disrupters. The fact that we live in a time and place where it’s possible to create an industry disrupter is what motivates me. Like, daily.

People actually ask, and sometimes are actually nervous to ask because the assumption is, “You know your business is going to get screwed over by this new phone, right?” Wrong.

Let’s get down to the brass tacks. Yes, this commercial is great. It would still be great if it was NOT shot on an iPhone. If they didn’t announce what camera they used I wouldn’t have noticed or thought anything negative about it.

There is so much involved with creating a commercial and filming each individual shot… I’m about to go into way more detail than you care about to tell you why this camera and this commercial isn’t the least bit threatening to me or my industry.

  • Lighting. It’s perfect. Do YOU know how to make perfect lighting? No. Only people with years of experience do. For this spot they shot outside. It LOOKS like they didn’t do anything. Wrong. First off they chose a location that would provide LARGE amounts of SOFT lighting. Snow on the ground acts as a natural bounce and the clouds in the sky diffuse the harsh sunlight. And you can tell on close-ups that they have bounce cards and key lights to bring in the right amount of light (and shadows) on faces.

  • Actors. It really looks like these kids are having fun playing in the snow. They are. But they’re also actors, so when they have to do the same action 20 times in a row with the same enthusiasm, they can. When they have to look exactly as they’re told to look, while landing on a specific mark for the 10th time while hungry and tired? Actors can do it. They’re trained to do it.

  • Camera Movement. Drones, cranes, dollies and gimbals - they used them all. Do you have those things? No. Do we? Yes. And by the time you start using those things you’re looking at a 5 person crew, for the camera department alone.

  • Art Direction. Do you think that snow is perfectly falling the way they wanted it to in every shot because nature decided to cooperate? Nope. They likely have a snow machine, a fog machine and fans. But they also have:

  • Post Production. Snow is definitely added in post. Some fog/mist might be too depending on the shot and what they did practically. And those perfect lens flares? Some are natural, some are added. Computers can do real crazy things these days.

  • Creative. The concept for a commercial doesn't just happen by chance. This Snowbrawl thing wasn't an accident. There's no dialogue, but that doesn't mean there isn't a script. I promise, hours went into designing the creative behind this, because that's what it takes to make things good; hours upon hours of professionals meticulously considering every detail.

  • Audio. As George Lucas always says, (you know the guy who made that movie Willow?) well, he always says that video is 50% of a film. The other 50% - Audio. You don’t think about it, but it’s true. The music, the perfect sounds fx, the masterfully mixed Foley… all play a huge part in the viewing experience of all spots, but especially a spot like this.

  • There's probably more but I'm kind of tired of thinking about it.

To wrap this all up - Apple is incredible. The iPhone 11 Pro is an amazing phone with 3 amazing cameras, and it’s going to have zero effect on our business or the business of any video production company because there’s a LOT that goes into making quality video.

Got anymore brain busters?


austin hines

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