How Takashi Miike Shot His Latest Short Film on an iPhone 15 Pro


This post is by Sunny Shrestha from No Film School

Best known for his extremely graphic, and at times controversially violent, action films over the years, Takashi Miike might be an unlikely choice for Apple to hire to test out the capabilities of the iPhone 15 Pro with his latest short film.

However, as Miike fans have seen over the years, the Japanese filmmaker does have range and knows how to wrangle in his often violent and bizarre filmmaking urges for more appropriate projects from time to time too. Luckily, this latest short film, titled “Midnight” by Miike is a good example of the director’s abilities.

Plus, for those curious to see how the iPhone 15 Pro handles shooting cinematic narrative projects like this one based on a manga story brought to life by Miike, it’s a cool example of the smartphone’s filmmaking prowess.


Takashi Miike’s “Midnight” Short Film

An adaptation of a manga story by the popular Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka, “Midnight” tells a simple story really about a late-night taxi driver (played by Kento Kaku) who offers to help those who need a lift (so to speak) on the nighttime streets of Tokyo. And, on one night in particular, he offers assistance to a woman (Konatsu Kato) who is in a battle with a local gang led by an evil boss (Yukiyoshi Ozawa).

The film itself bounces between black-and-white vignettes and action-packed sequences filmed on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo, offering a nice contrast of the iPhone 15 Pro’s cinematic range. It also features plenty of Miike’s hallmarks including fight sequences, car chases, and plenty of weird characters.

You can watch the short film in its entirety below:

The Making of “Midnight”

To go along with the short film, Apple has also released a cool behind-the-scenes featurette that shows just how Miike was able to bring the project to life, and more specifically, how he was able to shoot the entire film on the iPhone 15 Pro.

You can see in the video that the iPhone 15 Pro handles a lot of the low-light and fast-action sequences quite well. Using Apple ProRes LOG also allows for more flexibility in the edit, so a lot of the work could be done there to grade and balance the footage out in post.

Miike also shows how he uses the iPhone’s “action mode” which helps to correct and adjust for the shakiness that comes from high-speed shots with lots of movements. The team also uses the iPhone’s built-in optical stabilization as well as the autofocus 3D sensor-shift module, which you can see play out in the video featurette below:

The iPhone’s Cinematic Powers Grow

As we’ve covered in the past, Apple has been all-in on marketing the iPhone 15 Pro as a cinematic-capable smartphone camera device. Of course, that’s up to debate and subject to your own opinions, but it’s still interesting to see Apple putting so much effort into this endeavor, as well as featuring some of our favorite filmmakers in the process.