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Apple shot its Oscars ad with the iPad Air 2

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Featuring Martin Scorsese

Apple just debuted its Oscars ad and unsurprisingly, it's centered around making movies. The commercial features several groups of high school students as they shoot different projects using the iPad as their camera, overlaid by an inspirational voiceover from Martin Scorsese, who extolls the virtues of hard work and experimentation as the keys to creative success. And while the piece has the kind of delicate score and evocative images that one would expect from an Apple ad, the spot was actually shot on the iPad Air 2 itself.

Real student filmmakers

For the commercial, Apple partnered with the LA County High School for the Arts, a performing and visual arts school located in Los Angeles. Student filmmakers were provided with iPads and shot their projects over a weekend, during which their efforts were documented — also using an iPad Air 2. That behind-the-scenes footage is what makes up the ad.

It's a similar strategy to what Apple pursued with its Grammys ad earlier this month. In that case, director So Me created a short film focused around a collaboration between Swedish recording artist Elliphant, DJ The Gaslamp Killer, and English producer Riton. The apps used by the artists were then highlighted on Apple's own website; the work of the student filmmakers is getting the same treatment.

Apple has a long history of using the Oscars to highlight its products. The first iPhone ad, simply titled "Hello," aired in 2007 months before the original device actually went on sale, and the first iPad ad debuted during the Academy Awards three years later.