Apple’s Academy Awards iPad ad features app that helped documentary win Oscar

Apple’s Academy Awards iPad ad features app that helped documentary win Oscar

Apple aired a new iPad ad during yesterday’s Academy Awards that featured its typical ‘let the device do the talking’ setup. The device displays a series of apps that a disembodied hand interacts with and there are a series of buzzwords that relate to those apps.

But the ad also has an interesting star, an app called 8mm Vintage Camera by Nexvio. I’ve been using the app for a couple of years to add a bit of flavor to some videos from my iPhone. It simulates the look of 8mm movie film shot from a camera and processed in some various ‘era styles’. You can get the Japanese-esque Sakura, ’70’s’, cross processed looks and more.

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 11.23.32 AM

It’s a cool app, and well executed. It seems like a neat fit for the ‘camera’ section of Apple’s ad.

But the inclusion of that particular app is highly unlikely to have been based solely on its function for a very important reason: it’s the first iPhone app I know of to have its footage included in an Oscar-winning film.

Last week, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop shared a CNN Money interview with Malik Bendjelloul, the director of Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary that tells the story of singer Rodriguez. Rodriguez was a songwriter and singer from Detroit that released one album in the early 70’s and vanished. He then developed a cult following in South Africa, where he still enjoys popularity.

The film follows the birth of the legend of Rodriguez, a man so humble he didn’t even appear at the Oscars because he didn’t want to steal the limelight from the filmmakers.

Searching for Sugar Man is, by all accounts, a great film, it won the Oscar and nobody I know was surprised as it had strong buzz going in. But Bendjelloul had an extremely limited budget on the project and ended up running out of funds with only a few shots left to complete. So, what did he do? He snagged the 8mm Vintage Camera app and filmed those shots with the faux filters…which matched in so completely he says you’re unable to tell.

“I started shooting this film with a Super 8 camera, like real film, which is very expensive stuff. And I completely ran out of money,” says Bendjelloul. “One day I realized that there was this…app on my iPhone and I tried it and it looked basically the same as the real stuff.”

He used the iPhone to shoot directly or video off of a computer’s screen to give it an even more vintage feel.

And that allowed Searching for Sugar Man to win an Oscar yesterday. In addition to Apple to slipping in a reference to its ad, Apple featured the 8mm Vintage Camera app on its iTunes home page this past weekend.

8mm Vintage Camera |App Store

Image Credit: WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Service.

Read next: Firefox for Android beta adds per-tab private browsing, home screen shortcuts, support for 25m more phones