On January 24, 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh. And with it a promise that the power of technology, put in the hands of everyone, could change the world. On January 24, 2014, we sent 15 camera crews all over the world to show how that promise has become a reality.
From sunrise in Melbourne to nightfall in Los Angeles, they documented people doing amazing things with Apple products. They shot over 70 hours of footage — all with the iPhone 5s. Then it was edited and scored with an original soundtrack. Thanks to the power of the Mac and the innovations it has inspired, an effort that normally takes months was accomplished in a matter of days.
Fifteen locations on five continents, all shot in a single day: January 24
Over the course of the day, we documented dozens of extraordinary stories. Archeologists creating 3D renderings as they uncover the buried secrets of Pompeii. A journalist in Puerto Rico editing video footage on his Mac from the back of a jeep. Kids in Paris making music on an iPad by simply moving their hands through sand. Filming a full day in so many time zones meant the production actually took 36 hours to complete. But even that wasn’t nearly enough time to capture all the ways the world has changed over the last 30 years.
Shot on the world’s most popular camera
This film doesn’t just document the power now in everyone’s hands — it demonstrates it. Every frame was shot with an iPhone, using the same camera millions of people around the world shoot with every day. Initially, the team of cinematographers thought they would need lots of professional equipment and software. But the more test shooting they did leading up to January 24, the more they realized the camera in the iPhone 5s would meet their very high standards. In the end, while some additional equipment was used, much of the footage was captured with the iPhone alone.
An accomplished team, assembled around the world
One of the first phone calls at the beginning of the project was from Lee Clow, the ad agency creative director behind the iconic commercial that launched Macintosh in 1984, to Ridley Scott, who directed it. From the start, they knew the right director this time around was Scott’s son Jake. Collaborating with his father, Jake assembled 15 crews around the world, each led by an outstanding cinematographer.
After the footage was shot in each location, it was handed over to Angus Wall, one of the most sought-after editors in Hollywood. Because so much footage had to be edited so quickly — over 70 hours shot on 100 iPhones — he employed a team of 21 editors to piece the story together.
Apple technology at the center of it all
In order to direct 15 separate locations filming in a single day, Jake Scott transformed a sound stage in Los Angeles into a command center. He equipped it with an arsenal of Apple products including iMac, Mac Pro, and iPad, along with large projection displays positioned around the room. From there he was able to watch every scene as it was shot, and direct all the action remotely via FaceTime. Many involved in the production believe this innovative approach to a multilocation shoot will be adopted by other filmmakers.
From beginning to end, every facet of this production was made possible by innovations that trace their lineage back to the original Macintosh in 1984. From the people featured on camera to the devices used to document them. And the millions of people around the world watching the result of that work on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. It’s a story that began 30 years ago, and it remains one that only Apple can tell.
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