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Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams and other film stars take us behind the scenes for Apple TV+


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

March 25, 2019 | 4 min read

As part of its big rollout of its new content services, Apple debuted a new short film for Apple TV+ featuring some of the most creative minds in film taking us inside their respective worlds on the anxieties and triumphs of their craft.

Steven Spielberg for Apple TV+

Steven Spielberg for Apple TV+

‘Storytellers’ was shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer/filmmaker Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki. The film features iconic storytellers – Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Sofia Coppola, Ron Howard, Octavia Spencer, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shyamalan and Hailee Steinfeld – who take us through the creative journey of telling stories that matter.

The five-minute-plus black-and-white film is a glimpse behind the curtain, revealing an intimate account of the art of storytelling and showcases the unwavering passion and dedication of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers.

It starts with Spielberg, who gives a suggestion of how to begin the film, with a white dot on a black screen that gets larger and then explodes. From there, he, JJ Abrams and the rest describe what goes on in their minds during a shoot. It ranges from the intricacies of the writing process through the anxieties the filmmakers face when they have a full set of people and things might not be working just right. In between the commentary we see full sets – one of a lunar landing, one of a rain-soaked urban block, another of a snowy dreamscape where a woman is hoisted into the air. We also see a symphony orchestra gathering then playing as the film’s score itself ebbs and flows with the narrative.

“Fear is good. At least for me it’s good. Fear of failure is a kind of octane that keeps me wanting to stand on the edge of the abyss but at the same time not plunge to my career death,” says Spielberg.

Ultimately, it’s about shared stories and how it draws all of us together. “Sharing stories with one another makes us feel less alone,” states Chazelle.

Leveraging Lubezki’s masterful eye, ‘Storytellers’ transports the viewer into the mind of the filmmaker and underscores the important role stories play in our daily lives: to create a shared sense of connection. The film underlines the timely launch of Apple TV+, illustrating through captivating imagery and powerful prose that there’s never been a better time for stories that truly matter.

“We’re honored that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, in a news post for Apple. “Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

An additional opening film for Apple's presentation appears like a 60s-era movie opening credits sequence, with Apple products in place of stars and swirling technicolor animation.

Apple TV+ is set to launch this fall. Additionally, Apple debuted the all-new Apple TV app and Apple TV channels coming in May 2019.

Apple: Storytellers

By Apple

Overall Rating 4/5

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