🎥 iPhone 15 Gets Cinematic

Human directors laugh in AI's face🤖, Cannes docs steal the show🎞️, and iPhone 15 goes Hollywood🎬

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Welcome, creative friends!

AI Directors Left on the Cutting Room Floor? Meet the flesh-and-blood filmmakers giving algorithms a run for their money. Keep scrolling, cinephiles!

In today's rundown

For your artistic side.

LaScam, the society that advocates for the rights and welfare of artists and organizes the annual documentary prize at the Cannes festival unveiled its competitive documentary slate, which features 22 non-fiction films vying for the festival’s L’Oeil d’Or prize.

For the second year in a row, the Cannes Film Festival’s main competition slate doesn’t include a single documentary, compared to last year’s two.

Docs like Lou Ye’s An Unfinished Film and Nasty from the Romanian trio Tudor Giurgiu, Tudor D. Popescu, and Cristian Pascariu are making waves. But it’s not just about the awards. The fest is bringing film-on-film docs about Jim Henson and Faye Dunaway, plus a tribute to Studio Ghibli’s Miyazaki.

The commercial aspects of creativity.

Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch

The second annual AI Film Festival, hosted by generative AI startup Runway, featured movies that incorporated AI in various ways but often fell short due to the tech’s “obvious” limitations.

A scene from “Dear Mom” / Johans Saldana Guadalupe and Katie Luo

This observation is not to say that AI doesn’t have a place in film. Rather, it’s that today’s tools, which can rapidly produce visuals but lack contextual awareness across multiple shots, stopping creators from delivering fully immersive experiences.

“Are you getting this increasingly narrower average of existing things? And then — as that keeps getting averaged — is everything is just gonna be a blob?”

Claire Hentschker, Multimedia Artist

But here’s the plot twist: The human touch still reigns supreme. Films that meshed AI with human creativity garnered the most applause, showing that while AI has a role, it’s not ready to be a box office hit all on its own.

Giant grandmothers, imagined by AI / Léo Cannone

Why it matters: Properly training generative models is key for both continuous narratives like feature films and more episodic content like commercials. Just like in traditional film, AI has a higher chance of breaking through in shorts and experimental settings, which typically have smaller budgets that generative models could better fit.

The still-visible gap: Companies like Runway and OpenAI are training cutting-edge AI models with huge datasets, but achieving filmmaker-grade control over nuanced outputs still remains a challenge.

“Pounamu” about a young bird exploring the world / Samuel Schrag

While AI’s role in filmmaking will likely grow, this event highlighted that the best movies are still crafted by human hands – and human hearts.
It seems for now, we’re not quite ready to trade in our auteurs for algorithms.


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Navigating the digital creative world.

Still from Apple’s “Let Loose” video.

Apple's latest product announcement video, “Let Loose,” was again “Shot on iPhone”, but this time they added a twist: some footage was “Edited on Mac and iPad”. The internet had a field day speculating how Apple achieved a shallower depth-of-field than iPhones typically offer.

Turns out, they used a new lens mounting system from Panavision that lets you attach their cinema lenses to an iPhone.

This comes after last month’s MacBook launch video, “Scary Fast”, was also “Shot on iPhone” alongside a few other Apple devices. The consistency is interesting, considering Apple’s claim that “nearly all” the video was shot on iPhone. Could we see more “Shot on iPhone” from Apple? To be seen, but it’s undeniably cool that they’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with a smartphone camera.

Bonus: Apple also streamed the event in HDR for the first time.


Kana Casas

Equipment Rental:
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🔥 Press Worthy


To combat AI bias, Absolut (yes, the vodka brand) created “Absolut Intelligence”, using AI trained on 10k diverse photos. They're sharing the images on Unsplash to "challenge the stereotypical portrayal of fashion and lifestyle models in AI". But why not capture real images of real people?

Filmmaking gear maker Tilta has created the Khronos Ecosystem, a line of accessories turning the latest iPhones into "mobile imaging ecosystems". The system includes an iPhone case, handle, cage, and more.


Hollywood's not starstruck anymore. The age of the movie star may be fading due to studios prioritizing franchises over actors and a decline in mid-budget films. Social media’s transparency chips away at the mystique that once surrounded stars.

OpenAI’s COO, Brad Lightcap, evades a simple question—did AI video model Sora train on YouTube data? His meandering non-answer speaks volumes.


Influencer 2.0: As social media audiences seek more meaningful content, experts and thought leaders are eclipsing the traditional influencer model. With lower barriers to entry, audiences are now craving authenticity and expertise, shifting away from the product-pushing influencer of yesteryear.

Samsung rolls out Galaxy AI features to S22 series, Tab S8, Z Flip4, and Z Fold4, following its promise to bring the S24’s perks to older devices. Galaxy AI includes Live Translate, Generative Edit, Chat Assist, Transcript Assist, and Circle to Search.

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