Behind the scenes of Bentley's iPhone-filmed, iPad Air-edited ad

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2014
When luxury auto marque Bentley released a short documentary highlighting the new Mulsanne sedan earlier this week, it chose to shoot and edit the entire sequence on Apple's iPhone 5s and iPad Air -- with a little help from third-party gear. AppleInsider has the details of what equipment Bentley used to create the visually stunning piece.


Screenshot from Bentley's "Intelligent Details" spot showing the Mulsanne's integrated rear seat iPad holders.
Source: Bentley via YouTube


Apple has demonstrated the capabilities of its iOS product lineup in ads and promotional material, but perhaps more impactful are instances when parties not affiliated with the Cupertino company choose to use -- and by extension advertise -- those same devices. For example, The Tonight Show featured a Billy Joel-Jimmy Fallon duet powered by Apogee's audio interface for iOS.

With deep pockets and a top-tier U.S. ad agency in Minneapolis-based Solve, Bentley could have brought together a big-budget film crew with expensive camera gear to create its latest marketing blitz. Instead, the Volkswagen-owned firm went in a decidedly different direction by creating "Intelligent Details" with three iPhone 5s handsets, iPad Airs and some choice kit.

Speaking to AppleInsider, Bentley's head of communications Graeme Russell said the idea to use Apple devices as the production's backbone hatched during a brainstorming session about how best to highlight the Bentley Mulsanne's technology package. The factory option includes a Wi-Fi hotspot and twin electrically-deployed picnic tables with bespoke configurable iPad holders and dedicated space for Apple's wireless keyboard (iPad and keyboard sold separately), along with high-end audio components.

With the Mulsanne's onboard capabilities, the $300,000 vehicle turned "production equipment" served as a central hub supporting the iPhones and iPads used in the shoot.

Austin Reza, Creative Director and owner of Los Angeles, Calif.-based Reza & Co., worked on the project with Bentley and offered some additional details about his unique iOS device kit. Bentley has done other spots with "R&Co." -- using RED Cameras and DSLRs -- that can be viewed on the firm's website.

BeastGrip
The BeastGrip universal lens adapter.


As for third-party accessories, the first thing camera operators needed was a way to hold and manipulate the iPhone 5s. Two setups used BeastGrip as the mount of choice. Initially a Kickstarter project, the $75 3D printed lens adapter helped with handheld camera work in tight spaces, while a second prototype unit with suction cups captured interior and exterior shots.

For the BeastGrip rigs, a handful of threaded lenses were used, including the Neewer 0.3X Baby Death 37mm Fisheye Lens, which goes for $37.95 on Amazon.

Neewer Fisheye Lens
Neewer Fisheye Lens


Almost no project is shot these days without a steadicam rig or camera stabilizer of some kind. Here, Freefly's $5,000 MoVI M5 three-axis gyro-stabilized handheld camera system was paired with a modified Schneider iPro Lens. According to Reza, the MoVI M5 proved to be one of the most important tools during the filming process.


Freefly's Movi M5


While Apple's own iMovie was used for fast and dirty edits, the software that really tied it all together for the production team was the $4.99 FiLMiC Pro. The app offers enhanced control over camera output that, in Bentley's case, was shot at 24 frames per second with 50 mbps encoding.

Reza said the results exceeded his expectations, especially when the iPhone's FiLMiC Pro footage was translated to black and white. He added that his agency will use these types of versatile setups on future productions and perhaps even larger projects meant for wider distribution.

The combination of great optics, versatile iOS software and the iPhone's high-quality imaging sensor was key to producing a highly polished finished product, he said. That it was made in the back seat of a Bentley Mulsanne likely didn't hurt either.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 906member
    You can't buy publicity like this, as Samsung most likely full-well knows by now.

    That's a nice-looking Apple-product installation in the Bentley.
  • Reply 2 of 89
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,218member
    Scamsung are now rushing to film the interior of a Kia using a Galaxy 5 ......
  • Reply 3 of 89
    Wow that wonderful is Apple product video move smooth like it. Wow are awesome looking good job video on iPhone is clearing quartet thumb up!!
  • Reply 4 of 89
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    It must piss you off if the phone rings during filming or you get an iMessage. Just a thought.
  • Reply 5 of 89
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    zaba wrote: »
    It must piss you off if the phone rings during filming or you get an iMessage. Just a thought.

    It does, when you forget to switch on airplane mode. I have lost a few good shots that way. There oughtta be an option you can get to within the video app.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    zaba wrote: »
    It must piss you off if the phone rings during filming or you get an iMessage. Just a thought.

    Not if you're in airplane mode
  • Reply 7 of 89
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    zaba wrote: »
    It must piss you off if the phone rings during filming or you get an iMessage. Just a thought.

    The last film set I visited - on location, there was an unspoken fear of such. A transgression meant an instant ban and public shaming in front of the crew. In film days, I once loaded up a part used canister in the main camera just as the light was failing and boy did I suffer. Never did it again. I also remember one sound engineer striding across the stage and throwing a tray of drinks in the face of a hapless visitor who slurped his coffee in the middle of a take. Prima donnas everywhere.
  • Reply 8 of 89
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member

    Too late for this short documentary to have any impact on Wall Street's thinking about iOS devices.  Wall Street already knows Android has 80% of the smartphone market share and the Android tablet market share has already overtaken the iPad's market share.  We all know that market share is the most important metric in valuing a company's worth.  This one ad isn't going to help change the fortunes of a doomed company.  Besides, everyone already knows Nokia holds the record for having the most megapixels in a smartphone camera and iPads can only be used for content consumption.  Tim Cook must have begged and pleaded with Bentley to feature Apple products or promised to buy a dozen fully-equipped Bentleys for Apple executives to drive around campus in.

     

    /s

  • Reply 9 of 89
    While this is very cool, it is very similar to giving your kid a Stradivarius. The Stradivarius is a very cool piece of equipment and the very best violin in the world. Let you kid play on it and see how good the music is.

    The iPhone is cool and has some very competent capabilities, but most of us reading this blog are not going out tomorrow and producing this kind of results. There is a very talented team with years of skill and knowledge making this happen.

    It is still cool to know it can be done, but there tends to be an unspoken theme coming from Apple that anyone can go out and make content like this. That is a bit of a stretch of the imagination.
  • Reply 10 of 89
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,666member
    While this is very cool, it is very similar to giving your kid a Stradivarius. The Stradivarius is a very cool piece of equipment and the very best violin in the world. Let you kid play on it and see how good the music is.

    The iPhone is cool and has some very competent capabilities, but most of us reading this blog are not going out tomorrow and producing this kind of results. There is a very talented team with years of skill and knowledge making this happen.

    It is still cool to know it can be done, but there tends to be an unspoken theme coming from Apple that anyone can go out and make content like this. That is a bit of a stretch of the imagination.
    The fact is anybody can. The cost to produce something like this has dropped to within reach of 'normal' people. What Apple does not say or suggest is that if you are only half interested, half arsed, or are not fully committed, you can produce this kind of stuff.

    Like Stradivarius example above. But the cost of entry has never been lower.

    Re: the phone going off during a take. I can guarantee that none of the iPhones used were 'phone enabled'. They were cameras only. Letting your own phone go off during a take is unforgivable.
  • Reply 11 of 89
    Nice original article! AI needs to do more of this :)

    Now, where is that know-it-all who claimed the whole ad was really shot on Blackmagic or RED...? He seems to have vanished. Probably hiding along with the Android fans someplace safe until the truth blows over.
  • Reply 12 of 89
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    It is hard to tell but those iPads don't look like they would be easily removed. You know, like you carry an iPad all the time anyway and then pop it into a holder while in the car. They look more like a permanent installation. If so, why use an iPad at all? The configuration looks more like a MacBook instead. It doesn't seem to me that they are using the main advantage of an iPad, its portability.

     

    It is an amusing idea to use iOS devices to film iOS devices but still just a publicity stunt. I would have thought Bentley was above such a gimmick. Cracks me up that a "Pro" lens can go for $37.95. Using an iPhone camera for professional filming only makes sense, if you need extreme portability,  the space is really constrained or the device is expendable, as in an action scene. Otherwise, it makes more sense to use real professional rigs. Just my opinion. I know most on this forum think that iOS can do anything and is always the best tool for the job.

     

    I thought Apple using iPhone to shoot their documentary was brilliant though.

  • Reply 13 of 89
    but there tends to be an unspoken theme coming from Apple that anyone can go out and make content like this. That is a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

    Not sure what you are getting at.

    So Apple should advertise crappy home videos produced with iOS? Would that fit your worldview better?
  • Reply 14 of 89
    snailersnailer Posts: 51member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MidwestAppleFan View Post



    While this is very cool, it is very similar to giving your kid a Stradivarius. The Stradivarius is a very cool piece of equipment and the very best violin in the world. Let you kid play on it and see how good the music is.



    The iPhone is cool and has some very competent capabilities, but most of us reading this blog are not going out tomorrow and producing this kind of results. There is a very talented team with years of skill and knowledge making this happen.



    It is still cool to know it can be done, but there tends to be an unspoken theme coming from Apple that anyone can go out and make content like this. That is a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

    You are mis-underestimating 'you' kid. I have seen some unbelievably cool and polished iMovies from "kids". One thing about kids is they don't generally have the attitude (you do) that they "can't" do something. If you show them doing something that excites their imagination, the next thing you know they are DOING it. Actually your Strad. argument doesn't work for me... You might as well have said, 'Apple is for elitists'. The iPhone is IN NO WAY the best actual video camera, but it IS capable of producing results like this Bentley project. It's more like like apple has made a product that most people would mistake for a Strad., but costs as much as a regular violin. 

  • Reply 15 of 89
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    The first time I watched the video I noticed the driving lights were flickering in all the scenes. I wonder if that had something to do with the frequency of the LED lighting being out of phase with the 24 frames of the recording or is that the way Bentley lighting is supposed to be, but, it is distracting. Seems like a flaw in the video to me.

     

  • Reply 16 of 89
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,528member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    It does, when you forget to switch on airplane mode. I have lost a few good shots that way. There oughtta be an option you can get to within the video app.

    There is. It's called the Control Center.

     

    You swipe up from the bottom of your iDevice screen (running iOS 7). Press the button in the upper left hand corner with an airplane icon: you've enabled Airplane Mode.

  • Reply 17 of 89
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    I remember the other previous thread about this topic. A few people who were completely 100% wrong should be eating some nasty tasting crow right about now. And not only were they wrong and clueless, but they were arrogant about it too, and they definitely deserve ridicule for their cluelessness.

     

    They were projecting their own lack of talent onto others, and they could not comprehend or grasp how this entire video could possibly have been made using Apple devices and on iOS. Well it was, so they can kindly STFU now.

  • Reply 18 of 89
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MidwestAppleFan View Post

    It is still cool to know it can be done, but there tends to be an unspoken theme coming from Apple that anyone can go out and make content like this. That is a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

     

    All it takes is talent and imagination, and Apple users in general tend to be far more creative and talented than say Android users, so it's entirely possible.

  • Reply 19 of 89
    ajmasajmas Posts: 570member
    This is very cool, though remember you still need someone with any eye for the shot. It certainly does show you that you can achieve impressive results with relatively affordable hardware. The iPhone might not be cheap for a phone, but for a professional video system it is pocket change.
  • Reply 20 of 89
    apple ][ wrote: »
    I remember the other previous thread about this topic. A few people who were completely 100% wrong should be eating some nasty tasting crow right about now. And not only were they wrong and clueless, but they were arrogant about it too, and they definitely deserve ridicule for their cluelessness.

    They were projecting their own lack of talent onto others, and they could not comprehend or grasp how this entire video could possibly have been made using Apple devices and on iOS. Well it was, so they can kindly STFU now.

    I think they already did :)
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