Apple Delivers Rousing 2024 Chinese New Year Film Shot On iPhone 15 Pro Max
By Mikelle Leow, 31 Jan 2024
Video screenshot via Apple
Apple explores the intricate journey of self-discovery in a captivating short film for the Lunar New Year, entirely filmed on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Titled Little Garlic, this 15-minute narrative, directed by the acclaimed Marc Webb of 500 Days of Summer fame, spins the tale of Wei, affectionately nicknamed after the pungent bulb by her grandpa for her adorable nose (she inherited this feature from him, Big Garlic). The story blossoms from her playful childhood through the challenges of young adulthood, painting a vivid picture of identity, acceptance, and the quest to fit in.
Little Garlic weaves a compelling tale around Wei’s unique gift—or curse, depending on the perspective—of shapeshifting. As Wei ventures into the city, her talent allows her to morph into various personas to gain acceptance and camaraderie. However, this chameleon-like existence leads to an identity crisis, prompting her to confront the essence of her true self amid a sea of fabricated characters. Her supernatural ability becomes a metaphor for the adaptability many feel compelled to adopt in the face of societal pressures.
The film skillfully addresses the pervasive influence of social media on personal identity, a theme that resonates universally but is particularly poignant for Gen Z viewers. Created by Apple’s bespoke TBWA\Media Arts Lab Shanghai agency, Little Garlic not only serves as a cinematic exploration of modern dilemmas but also showcases the iPhone 15 Pro Max's impressive filmmaking capabilities. Features like Action mode stabilization, 5x optical zoom, and Cinematic mode are integral to its dynamic storytelling, bringing Wei’s extreme transformations to life with seamless elegance.
Video screenshot via Apple
Webb’s direction highlights the technological prowess required to capture the rapid shapeshifting sequences, emphasizing the creative and technical challenges overcome to tell Wei’s story compellingly.
“Doing these quick shapeshifts, the camera needs to move fast enough to hide the transitions,” explains the director. “We actually designed these shots to make it more interesting and see how far we can push the camera.”
The project adopted a few very clever tricks to create perspective. For example, in tight spaces where no other crew members could fit in, like inside a closet, actors would shoot each other from the iPhone.
Continuing Apple’s tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year through the Shot on iPhone series, Little Garlic adds a modern twist to the themes of home, family, and reunion. By intertwining the quest for identity with the impact of social media, the film will strike a chord with contemporary audiences.
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