Apple Enlists Korean Director Park Chan-wook to Shoot Martial-Arts Fantasy Film Entirely on iPhone

 

Park Chan-wook, one of Korea’s most successful and critically regarded directors, was selected by Apple to create a film shot completely on the company’s latest iPhones.

“Life Is But a Dream” by Park is the first project in Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” marketing campaign to be wholly created, shot, and edited in Korea.

The film combines martial arts with romance, dark comedy, and pansori (), Korea’s ancient musical storytelling technique, to portray a strange story that includes both a wedding and a funeral.

An undertaker digs through an abandoned cemetery to steal a coffin for the burial of “White Marten,” a warrior who died rescuing a hamlet, in the 21-minute film. He accidently awakens the ghost of an ancient swordsman while digging. When that ghost seeks to reclaim its coffin, it awakens the newly departed spirit of White Marten: two ghosts who died young and are now squabbling… or feelings? Is it all just a long night’s sleep?

Yoo Hae-jin (the undertaker), Kim Ok-vin (White Marten), and Park Jeong-min are among the Korean actors in the film (the swordsman).

“’Life Is But a Dream’ seemingly starts as a horror film then slowly reveals itself to be a mix of fantasy, martial arts, rom-com and musical. It’s a story that I’ve always wanted to tell,” Park says in a behind-the-scenes clip released alongside the film. “A specific camera didn’t come to mind when I wrote it. What’s amazing is that we can capture such a story into a film with iPhone.”

The film was shot on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The team employed several features of the latest models of Apple’s flagship phones, including Cinematic mode, macro video, Night Mode, Ultra Wide camera, Telephoto camera, optical image stabilization and ProRes video recording.

Apple Enlists Korean Director Park Chan-wook to Shoot Martial-Arts Fantasy  Film Entirely on iPhone

Park, whose credits include “Oldboy,” “Thirst,” “The Handmaiden” and HBO’s upcoming limited series “The Sympathizer,” has experience shooting on an iPhone. In 2011, he shot a short film, “Night Fishing,” on an iPhone 4, which won the Golden Bear for short film at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival.

The film was produced for Apple by TBWA\Media Arts Lab Seoul and features original music by Jang Young-gyu. “Life Is But a Dream” will appear on broadcast, digital, social and out-of-home media, as well as on apple.com, the Apple TV app and Apple Music.

Watch Park Chan-wook’s “Life Is But a Dream”:

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