Each year, the cameras on smartphones get better and better. Apple's ongoing Shot on iPhone campaign highlights the incredible capabilities of their newest models. The most recent example is a 21-minute short film by South Korean director Park Chan-wook, entitled Life is But a Dream, which was shot entirely on an iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Park—who directed the critically acclaimed Oldboy—partnered with cinematographer Kim Woo-hyung to create this dynamic movie of an undertaker and the ghost of an ancient swordsman. The team used a range of effects available on the iPhone 13 Pro, including cinematic mode, macro video, night mode, optical image stabilization, and ultra-wide camera. “Life is But a Dream seemingly starts as a horror film, and then slowly reveals itself to be a mix of fantasy, martial arts, rom-com, and musical,” Park explains. “It's a story that I've always wanted to tell. A specific camera didn't come to mind when I wrote it. What's amazing is that we can capture such a story into a film with an iPhone.”
The short film stars actors Yoo Hae-jin, Kim Ok-vin, and Park Jeong-min, and features many of the same distinct characteristics of Park's oeuvre. Within the abbreviated timeframe, viewers will enjoy colorful costumes and makeup as well as martial arts and sword fighting scenes. “It's not easy to dive deeper into genre experiments in a full-length feature film because it costs a lot of money and there is a lot of pressure,” Park says. “When making short films, I have creative freedom.”
You can watch the full video on YouTube.