Apple Flexes the iPhone 11 by Using It to Film a Hollywood-Worthy Snowball Fight

An epic clash from the director of Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde

When is a snowball fight not just a snowball fight? When it's an epic, cinematic battle royale. Apple
Headshot of David Griner

Apple hasn’t stopped talking about the video and photo potential of its iPhone 11 Pro since the minute it debuted the three-lensed smartphone in September. But today, the brand illustrates the power of showing over telling.

The brand’s newest cinematic spot was shot entirely with the iPhone 11 Pro by director David Leitch, the veteran stuntman best known for co-creating the John Wick franchise and directing action hits like Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde.

The ad’s intent is twofold. For one, it aims to highlight the professional quality videography that’s possible on the most powerful iPhone available this holiday season (depending on your preferred options, the Pro model ranges from about $1,000 to $1,450). But the innovative cinematography also showcases storytelling tricks—like mounting the iPhone to a garbage can lid as it skids along the ground—that might not be possible with a larger camera.

Like all good action flicks, this spot isn’t too focused on plot. All you need to know is that an older brother kidnapped a teddy bear from the wrong girl, and a snowball civil war is her only recourse.

More subtle features on display in the ad include the iPhone 11 Pro’s stabilization tools that make for smooth movements even amid the chaos of battle.

Filmed in 4K at 60 frames per second, the ad was shot by one of today’s top cinematographers, Robert Elswit, who won an Oscar for his work on 2007’s There Will Be Blood. More recently, he worked on Mission: Impossible–Rogue Nation, Nightcrawler and Skyscraper.

Here’s a look behind the scenes at how the ad was filmed:

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."