'Crazy Rich Asians' Director Jon M. Chu Shoots Short Film Using iPhone XS Max

Jon M. Chu, best known for directing hit movie "Crazy Rich Asians," was provided with one of Apple's new iPhone XS Max models by WIRED, which he used to shoot a short film in 4K to test out the device's capabilities.


Chu's video was shot handheld using available light using only the native camera app and stabilizer, without any additional equipment or lighting. The video was edited on a computer, but no color correction or post-production tricks were used.

Chu told WIRED he was impressed with how well the iPhone handled moving shots, and to challenge himself, he shot in a garage under fluorescent lights.
"I'm moving around a lot, and the focus was adjusting as I was moving, but it was finding the subject really well," he says. "There's a shot at the end where I'm rushing toward the garage--that's using the built-in stabilizers. It's pretty smooth."
Chu also said the device's color accuracy was notable, as it accurately depicted the real-world colors of the garage where he was filming. "You can see the colors, they really pop," he said."

After the testing, Chu says he's going to upgrade to the iPhone XS Max from the iPhone X, "no question." iPhone XS Max, he says, is lighter than the 8 Plus and "doesn't feel like a plus phone." "The weight, the density -- it doesn't feel like an inconvenience to hold it," he said.

Chu's full two minute video can be watched on YouTube. Called "Somewhere," it focuses on dancer Luigi Rosado's rehearsal space.

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Top Rated Comments

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12 weeks ago
I thought it was a good short. The new phone did a great job.
Rating: 6 Votes
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12 weeks ago


iPhone 8 Plus weight: 202 grams
iPhone XS Max weight: 208 grams


It's actually more about weight distribution than actual weight. The iPad Pro 12 is heavy, but it doesn't feel that way because the weight distribution is really good. It feels as heavy (in its case) as my Moto e4 does, which shows that someone at Apple still knows what they're doing. Out of its case the Pro 12 feels ridiculously light.

They could probably have a year-long class about how to do that.
Rating: 5 Votes
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12 weeks ago

Does it say how he moved the files off his phone onto his PC? iPhone X doesn't support USB 3 speeds. Getting video off the device is such a huge pain!


I missed the part where it says he have used PC! It says Computer which could have been either PC or Mac. Speaking of the latest, little do you know that iOS devices and Mac computers do feature AirDrop which allow devices to drop large files instantly between them without the need of wires. And for many photographers/Videographers/Film makers, Mac is the platform of choice (and for a very good reasons) I do effortlessly drop videos/fotos all the time between iPhone,Mac and iPad. It have been years since I last used a wire to plug an iOS device to a Mac and I just love the convenience of not having to.

PC? I use it at work, would never buy one for personal use.
Rating: 5 Votes
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12 weeks ago

iPhone XS Max, he says, is lighter than the 8 Plus and "doesn't feel like a plus phone." "The weight, the density -- it doesn't feel like an inconvenience to hold it," he said.

iPhone 8 Plus weight: 202 grams
iPhone XS Max weight: 208 grams

Lighter than the 8 Plus, riiiiight... These phones are getting heavier.

Perception and reality often intersect at different corners... in different neighborhoods. :p:D

Seems more like accidental confirmation bias. I can easily see someone making an off-hand comment about the Max seeming lighter than the 8+ and Chu going, "Yeah, you know what it does, doesn't it?" Feels lighter is probably what he meant. Not is measurably lighter. Only geeks like us pull out scales to differentiate 6 grams. Normal people just eyeball it and keep it movin'.

The video looked like a good cell phone video. Not great, not bad. Good cell phone video. Pretty much standard these days.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
12 weeks ago
iPhone XS Max, he says, is lighter than the 8 Plus and "doesn't feel like a plus phone." "The weight, the density -- it doesn't feel like an inconvenience to hold it," he said.

iPhone 8 Plus weight: 202 grams
iPhone XS Max weight: 208 grams

Lighter than the 8 Plus, riiiiight... These phones are getting heavier.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
12 weeks ago

Does it say how he moved the files off his phone onto his PC? iPhone X doesn't support USB 3 speeds. Getting video off the device is such a huge pain!


Ever heard of airdrop?
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 weeks ago
This video looks much better than the blurry picture Mr Cook took for Twitter with his iPhone 6S.

#ShotonIphone

Rating: 2 Votes
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12 weeks ago
I'm all for the democratisation of cinema, however this - like every other film shot in the same fashion - looks clearly like a small-sensor camera. 4K means nothing when you have compression crawlies and high ISO noise all over your image.
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 weeks ago

Seriously bad idea from Marketing. Noisy low-res due to low light and tiny sensor. Colour reproduction bad again due to low-light. Not sure why you'd need a director, let alone a famous one to film this either.


Did you watch the same video?
The director claims he liked it.

What major motion pictures have you directed?
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 weeks ago

Gotta say, it's really hard to judge the image quality on a 1080p YouTube upload. Why didn't they upload it in 4K, I wonder?


Because google isn’t using the industry standard codec, instead they created and are using a proprietary one.
Rating: 1 Votes
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