Ivan Reitman and his son Jason Reitman have teamed up as a co-directing duo for a new 2021 holiday commercial for Apple called Saving Simon. The commercial shows a little girl and her family trying to preserve her snowman throughout the year, set to the song "You and I" by Valerie June. The full three-minute version of the commercial has been released on Apple's YouTube channel, and according to Variety, a 60-second version of the commercial will air on broadcast television and online TV services. A behind-the-scenes feature on the commercial is also being released by Apple.
The commercial is the first time that Ivan and Jason Reitman have directed something together. Jason Reitman recently directed this year's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a new film in the franchise that his father started when he directed the original 1984 film Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel Ghostbusters II. Ivan Reitman's other directing work includes 1990's Kindergarten Cop, 1993's Dave, and 2014's Draft Day. Jason Reitman's other directing works includes 2007's Juno, 2009's Up in the Air, and 2018's The Front Runner. James Witaker, who also worked on Disney+'s Hawkeye series, was the director of photography for the commercial.
The commercial was shot entirely on an iPhone Pro 13 device. It used the phone's Macro and Cinematic modes, along with consumer-grade apps and lenses, and a few DIY camera rigs. "The idea that you can pick up your phone and start filmmaking is one that thrills me," said Jason Reitman. "This storytelling device is just sitting there in your pocket. It gives us a chance to tell stories no matter where you grow up and allows everyone to see stories from other cultures which brings us all closer."
Watch Saving Simon from Ivan and Jason Reitman below.
This is what happens when you make a movie "for the fans."
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