Kathryn Bigelow Shot 5 Genre Scenes to Show Off iPhone 13 Pro

Will it change the language of cinema?

Apple has been positioning iPhone as the perfect movie-making machine for years, and has gotten several A-list Hollywood directors—from Damien Chazelle to David Leitch—to put the device through its paces.

But it's upping the ante further with iPhone 13 Pro, introduced Tuesday at an Apple event. The new phone's camera features "Cinematic mode," which can mimic the focus capabilities of professional cameras—seemingly a decent step forward in helping you create that homemade blockbuster.

To promote it, Apple once again called in the big guns. This time, it's Kathryn Bigelow—an Oscar winner for The Hurt Locker—who crafted a spot that's really five spots in one, showing brief scenes mimicking five different genres: gangster, space thriller, war movie, romance and Western.

The vignettes do a nice job of promoting Cinematic mode, while also highlighting a longstanding advantage of iPhone—how small, lightweight and flexible it is shooting in tight spaces.

iPhone 13 Pro – Hollywood in your pocket | Apple

There is also the requisite BTS film, which you can see below. It shows Bigelow and Australian cinematographer Greig Fraser (who worked with her on Zero Dark Thirty) waxing particularly poetic about iPhone 13 Pro's potential to change the game.

"I thought it was a good challenge. You know, these are all genres I love. And it's so great to kind of parachute in and do a deep dive with the iPhone," says Bigelow. "To be honest, we sort of designed these sets and these sequences to take advantage of how nimble it is. And with so much accessibility, I think all pretension tends to disappear."

On set with iPhone 13 Pro Featuring 2x Oscar Winner Kathryn Bigelow | Apple

Bigelow seems to say iPhone 13 Pro is really all you need now. "It's a completely integrated process," she says. "The iPhone doesn't require any ancillary pieces of equipment." (This claim, though, is a bit at odds with the fine print at the end of the spot itself: "Additional hardware and software used.")

They end with some serious superlatives. "It might even birth a brand new genre," Bigelow suggests. To which Fraser replies: "It will change the language of cinema in a very positive way."

For a closeup look (featuring lots of closeups) at Cinematic mode, check out a third piece of Apple content below—not directed by Bigelow.

Whodunnit | Cinematic mode | iPhone 13 | Apple
Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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