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Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ Film Dives Deep Into Usher’s Super Bowl Halftime Show

 Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ Film Dives Deep Into Usher’s Super Bowl Halftime Show


Every so often, Apple releases short films touting the iPhones’ video capabilities, and the latest ‘shot on iPhone’ film documents the rehearsal and performance of Usher’s Super Bowl halftime show. The documentary is dotted with roller skating dancers, stage technicians with leaf blowers making Alicia Keys’ cape billow, stilt walkers and a hard-working and contemplative Usher — all captured with off-the-shelf iPhone 15 models.

“I challenge myself differently at 45 years old. Everyday is like a different ache, a different mental challenge. It’s just another thing to work through.” says Usher during the film while receiving cupping therapy.

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Director Mike Carson and director of photography Xiaolong Liu used 40 iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max devices, capturing the rehearsal process in black-and-white and the actual performance in color. The film cuts back-and-forth between the two, with the live performance sections in particular standing out for their unique angles and one-of-a-kind perspectives compared to what was broadcast.

The filmmakers littered the stage with iPhones to capture the action, attaching some to performers and mounting others to set pieces and instruments. My personal favorite is the one on a musician’s trombone slide, giving the footage a kinetic movement that wouldn’t have been possible to capture with larger, heavier conventional cameras. The documentary also shows Usher and his team in quieter moments, like figuring out how all the songs fit together.

“I put the songs together like a puzzle piece, to represent this type of soulful music, R&B and [a] mixture of this pop that is my own,” says Usher.

The Super Bowl halftime film follows up other ‘shot on iPhone’ films including Apple recording its fall Scary Fast Mac event to film the entire keynote video.

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