Go behind the scenes of Apple’s Chinese New Year video

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Jia Zhangke
Jia Zhangke directing the recent Apple short film.
Photo: Apple

There’s no doubt that Apple is a master when it comes to producing compelling commercials for its products. One of the coolest things about these ads, however, is how often they don’t just feature Apple products on screen — but are actually created using Apple products, too.

That was the case with a recent short film, directed by Jia Zhangke, that Apple commissioned to celebrate the Chinese New Year. In a new video, Zhangke goes behind the scenes to show how it was achieved using his trusty iPhone XS.

“As a director I need to capture as many details as I possible while dealing with different shooting conditions,” Zhangke says in the short film. “Smart HDR adds texture to my photos and bring memories of home to life. This is how you touch the viewer’s heart.”

As my colleague Charlie Sorrel wrote in his iPhone XS review:

“Smart HDR takes multiple photos at different exposures, then picks the best exposure for each part of the scene. It does this at full speed, and it seems to do it on pretty much every photo you take. The result is an image that is perfectly exposed everywhere. Dark shadows still retain detail, and highlights almost never get obliterated to pure, bright white.”

This is the third behind-the-scenes video that has been shared for Jia Zhangke’s short film “The Bucket.” Previous ones focused on Depth Control and Slo-mo on the iPhone XS.