Apple’s holiday ad Saving Simon is a simple tale of a young girl’s quest to keep a snowman alive, in the face of a belligerent brother and changing seasons. Her parents look on with stoic calm as she forms a close bond with her frosty friend, and in turn carries the audience along with her.
The film is the latest in Apple’s long-running campaign, which is rooted in showing off the quality of the camera technology featured in its phones, but has given birth to a series of shorts directed by Hollywood directing royalty. For this one, father and son (and fellow directors of movies in the Ghostbusters franchise) Ivan and Jason Reitman have teamed up for the first time.
Saving Simon stays just on the right side of sentimentality, featuring gentle moments of comedy alongside an overall message of family togetherness (with a nod to the struggles wrought by the pandemic at the end).
It comes with a making-of film, below, which shows how the directors created the film on their phones. “This storytelling device is just sitting there in your pocket,” says Jason Reitman in the film. “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…. The idea that you can just pick up your phone and start filmmaking is one that thrills me.”
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Directors: Jason Reitman, Ivan Reitman
DP: James Whitaker
Production Company: Bob Industries
Music: Valerie June, You and I