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Steven Spielberg Used an iPhone to Direct His First Music Video

The Oscar winner helmed a one-shot music video for Marcus Mumford's song "Cannibal."

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Getty Images

“West Side Story” may be Steven Spielberg’s last time directing a full length musical, but the Oscar winner clearly isn’t sick of filming people singing. In early July, Spielberg made his debut as a music video director, helming a video for Marcus Mumford’s new song “Cannibal.” And if that wasn’t surprising enough, the celluloid-loving director shot the entire video on an iPhone, with some help from his wife Kate Capshaw.
Mumford announced the collaboration with Spielberg in a tweet that included a photo of them filming in a high school gym.
“On Sunday 3rd July in a high school gym in New York, Steven Spielberg directed his first music video, in one shot, on his phone,” Mumford wrote. “Kate Capshaw was the almighty dolly grip.”
Any musician would be thrilled to have Steven Spielberg direct one of their videos, and the fact that he chose Mumford’s song to make his debut as a music video director made the experience particularly special. In the same Twitter thread, Mumford expressed his gratitude about the experience.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the people around me to bring this music to you, and I cannot hope to express all of my gratitude,” he wrote. “When people get it, it blows my mind. Kate and Steven just got it, and I cannot thank them enough.”
Though this marks Spielberg’s first time making a music video, it has long been a standard practice for major Hollywood filmmakers to direct videos for musicians. Martin Scorsese famously directed Michael Jackson’s “Bad” video, Spike Lee collaborated with Eminem, Paul Thomas Anderson frequently directs videos for the likes of HAIM and Fiona Apple, and David Fincher got his start as a successful music video director. If anything, it’s surprising that Spielberg waited this long.
In addition to his music video work, Spielberg is currently in post-production on “The Fabelmans,” an autobiographical film about his childhood in Arizona that he wrote with Tony Kushner. That film, which will be making its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, stars Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and David Lynch.

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