‘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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