How did Apple film the 1.24.14 video in 10 countries just one day? Like this!

Apple's new 1.24.14 video not only honored the Mac's 30th anniversary but showed how the iPhone was making computing even more personal. But how did Apple pull off a 15 camera crew shoot across 10 countries in just one day? Oh, and entirely on the iPhone?

Narrated by director Jake Scott — son of Apple's 1984 commercial director, the legendary Ridley Scott who also makes a cameo — the video up top shows us just exactly how. Now, a lot of the iPhones are attached to rigs and connected by technology that are anything but mainstream, but what they're capturing are exactly the kind of extraordinary moments we all want to capture every day.

Hit play. Enjoy. And then tell me — If the iPhone can be the best camera because it's the one you have with you, why not the best computer as well?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How did Apple film the 1.24.14 video in 10 countries just one day? Like this!


It is a lighting cable.
These iPhones have video mirroring set up no doubt.
You can see one shot where someone is seeing the iPhone camera app in a computer screen.

The feed of the phone's screen looks to be sent to the "control room" so the director can see exactly what is being shot.

I've pretty much ditched my point & shoot with my iPhone 5. Despite fewer megapixels from ten to eight, the only difference is the lack of optical zoom on my iPhone, but even that has been addressed with various add-ons.

Still photos with my DSLR still rule the roost but what's always been said is true. The best camera is the one you have with you. My phone is everywhere with me, and can't beat that. What I do wish for in future improvements for the iPhone is more real time filters and more overall control over the camera app itself.

Setting white balance, color filters, and a ton of other fine control as seen in many Samsung Galaxy S series phones starting with the the GS3 and newer.

I'd like to have the best possible camera in a iPhone even if it involves a thicker shell or other compromise. I feel it would be well rewarding just as the huge jump the original iPhone 4 over its previous models.

That was so cool and shows how impressive the smartphone is and versatile. It is just amazing to think where it will be in another 5 years.

I thought the ad was interesting.... before I saw this terrible promo.
Really this video shows me that nothing about Apple / Mac / iPhone is special.

The video says it's "spontaneous"; yet this looks like it was planned to the N-th degree; you hear the directors asking for exact shots and exact movements.

I would hardly call an iPhone attached to a full camera rig "real".

So typical advertising agency self love to think that they were somehow making a miracle.
Who really says they are looking through "the prism of this device"?

I thought this was videos shot by users around the world all put together.
Instead it is just another fake "hollywood" creation.
You could have shot this on any HD capable camera with this much equipment / lights / crew around and it would look just as good.
There is 1000s of HD capable cameras out there now, and any one can shot amazing images with the right set up and lights.

If my Mum sees this and asks me "can I do this with my iPhone?", I can only say "no YOU can't".
Because this was not just shot on an iPhone, this was over produced rubbish.

Now if they asked someone who has never made a film to shoot and edit a video on and iPhone; that is amazing.
If they flew around the world in a week, shot and edited it on ONE iPhone; that is amazing.

And these are things you can actually do on an iPhone at home.
Why make up this over elaborate ruse?

TLDR; Apple has jumped the shark because the iPhone is not good enough to just be itself.

no i dont, but if you use any camera right it will perform better. You advertize with the best that the product will do. if you advertize it with a typical video that you see on instagram, people wouldnt buy. some people will be able to achieve it, some not.
I see some tripod heads on that video that cost over a grand, but thats not false advertizing because my video camera requires the same to make a good video.

I guess I am disappointed that they decided to go over the top.

I am a professional video editor, and I have been able to do amazing things with my iPhone.
Just grabbing it and shooting something, then editing it on the fly, and posting online.
I've shot films with my kids that never see a computer till they are online.

The iPhone is amazing, it just doesn't need to have this whole multiscreen "all in one day" video feeds - steady cam - tripods - jib arm - rubbish.

What does this ad prove for Apple?
It doesn't show how good the iPhone camera is; because these are not real situations.
We've seen an ad with shots form an iPhone before anyway.
It doesn't show what the iPhone is being used for; these all look like set up scenarios.

They didn't need to have all that equipment.
Apple could have asked users to send in their own videos shot on the one day, and stitched together a "real" day in the life of video.
And it may have been amazing.

This to me feels needless.
There is no 'Mac' here, just over the top spending of money.
I really am just disappointed.

I agree with you. But i do find it impressive that this video was shot using only iPhones. It would look a whole lot nicer if it was taken with good cameras and lenses, but the fact that it was taken with iPhones ads a nice touch to it. Look how phone cameras have improved! Only 2 years ago the quality would have been terrible.
But the ad does not say that anyone can take similar quality videos with their iPhones, they simply note that it was taken with iPhones. I was impressed with that, but i think they should have used some of their money to buy a good RED or Canon cinema camera.

Two years ago was the iPhone4s (it did full HD also).
So it could be done 2 years ago!

P.S - They should have shot this in an Arri Alexa I think ; )

I see a difference in my iPhone 4s and 5s pictures and videos.
And Apple cant afford a Arri. lol

I just want to say how impressed I am with you two for having such a cogent, non ad-hominim filled disagreement that stated each point of view clearly without escalating. Thank you both =)

I just realised with all this equipment in place, they could have shot this ad on an iPhone 4s and it would probably look identical.

Here is the crux of what I feel when I see this; there is nothing special here for Apple.
What does this "say" about the Apple brand?

Shot on iPhones, but I'm guessing edited on a Mac. If edited on iPhone too I'd be more impressed.

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Those phone mounts must have cost more than quite a few iPhones, some looked very cool. Are they available or custom one off's for this shoot? Wonder if they were complaining about lens rattles and purple tint :)

We've come a long way and the prospects of how enabling technology can be are bright and hopeful.
I can't help but consider, however, the amount of resources it still required to pull something like this off. The logistics, scheduling; not even thing about networking systems behind it all!
[feeling dizzy, must sit down]

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Amazing to see Ridley Scott there, watching his son Jake film the spot for Apple. 30 years ago Ridley was shoot 1984 for the Mac, and my how far technology has come.

I get the concerns that the shots weren't as natural as they could have been, and I too find the gear they used puts the process beyond the point they were trying to make. But, 36 hours is a crazy time frame to get that done, and from my experience, you can't over plan normal schedules, much less insane ones.

If they'd given themselves more time to shoot, I bet they could have shot with more jazz.

To answer Rene's original question, yes, the iPhone is my best computer in that I typically have it nearby and use it often for quick reference, communication, pictures, note taking, etc. As for the video, I'm impressed. Even with all the extra gear I think it's amazing that they recorded it call on the iPhone.

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