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Apple’s Latest ‘Shot on iPhone’ Film Is a Manga Adaptation

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Apple turned to Japanese genre manga as inspiration for an epic installment of its long-running and celebrated “Shot on iPhone” campaign.

The 19-minute film, “Midnight,” by agency TBWAMedia Arts Lab Tokyo, is based on a 1986 manga series by Osamu Tezuka.

The story follows Midnight, a taxi driver who can see the near future, as he tries to protect a young woman from gangsters who want to steal her family’s trucking turf. Original strips from the manga are spliced into the footage to show how its wild vehicles and characters were brought to life.

Director Takashi Miike primarily shot neon-heavy Tokyo at night to demonstrate the iPhone 15 Pro’s low-light capabilities. The film is packed with fights, chase scenes and bizarre details like a nearly lethal banana peel and an assassin with a hand puppet.

A 3D model for the fifth wheel that pops out of Midnight’s highly impressive taxi to help him navigate night corridors was created using the iPhone’s LiDAR scanner in postproduction.

“Mr. Tezuka is something of a god among manga artists, so it was an honor to take on the challenge of expressing his work using only iPhone,” Miike said in a statement. “As we were shooting, I naturally began to challenge myself to think about how we could make a work unique to iPhone, beyond the usual approach to a film. I truly felt that the iPhone has the power to do things that a conventional movie camera can’t.”

Midnight premiered March 6 on YouTube, launching on apple.com/jp, Abema TV and Apple TV March 7. The film and a behind-the-scenes video will play in select Tokyo taxis late at night, and characters from the adaptation will appear on the cover of a copy of the manga magazine being released this month.

Running in Japan, the campaign also incorporates broadcast, magazine, out-of-home, digital and social.

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