Takashi Miike Quietly Releases “Midnight” Short Film Based on Manga and Shot on an iPhone


Prolific genre filmmaker Takashi Miike (AuditionIchi the Killer) quietly released short film “Midnight,” based on a manga by Osamu Tezuka, on Apple’s YouTube channel yesterday. And that’s not even the most impressive part: per THR, the filmmaker shot the thrilling short on an Apple iPhone 15 Pro.

Watch “Midnight” below.

The short film “centers on a late-night taxi driver named Midnight, played by popular Japanese actor Kento Kaku, who roams the streets of Tokyo offering help to those in need. The film follows Midnight as he comes to the aid of a young woman, played by Konatsu Kato, who is struggling to take over her recently deceased father’s truck-driving business while fighting off a nefarious local gang, led by an evil boss played by the acclaimed character actor Yukiyoshi Ozawa.”

The 19-minute comedic action short looks incredible for being shot on an iPhone, and mixes live-action with manga illustrations.

Takashi Miike said in a statement about the promotional project highlighting iPhone 15 Pro’s capabilities, “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. 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.

“Action mode accurately captures the facial expressions of subjects in a scene in a dynamic way, while reflecting their emotions and thoughts. For example, in the scene where Kaede hears news of her father passing away, furiously rushing out to show her sadness. Thanks to iPhone 15 Pro and Action mode, I was able capture such a scene. It is beyond what a conventional stabilizer can do without compromising the high-quality of the film. It is truly a magical feature.

“While Cinematic mode gives the film a more cinematic look, I was even more impressed by the ability to adjust the focus after shooting. You can focus on whatever you want, whenever you want. I hope that game-changing features like this that are impossible with regular photography equipment will be added more and more, and that it will break the conventional thinking of filmmakers.”

Miike is one of Japan’s most prolific filmmakers, with over 100 feature film credits to his name. Miike’s most recent film, Lumberjack the Monster, is still awaiting US distribution.

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