Smooth Like Never Before - An Interview with Leonardo Dalessandri

  1. Charles C.
    Social Media Staff Member Nov 14, 2019

    Charles C. , Nov 14, 2019 :
    When it comes to collaboration, we’re always willing to work with the talented, the passionate, and the innovative.

    When we set about making a device we select only top-tier components to give users the fast and smooth experience they expect from a OnePlus device. That’s why, for example, we use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus on the OnePlus 7T. And when we want to give the best, most immersive audio experience we use Dolby Atmos.

    Collaborating with those who have mastered their craft not only applies to choosing the best hardware; it also applies to creative collaborations we embark on.

    Just take a look at some of our past collaborations. What unites them all?

    They have a deep passion for what they do.
    They innovate and disrupt.
    They are masters of their trade.

    Who do we collaborate with when we produce an automotive themed smartphone?

    Bruce McLaren: inventor, engineer, innovator. In 1964, the first true McLaren sports car rolled onto the track—and into the history books. Conceived and built by a small team with big ideas, the McLaren M1A bravely stood up against the giants of competitive racing and changed the face of motorsports forever.


    When we produce limited edition custom phone cases and accessories who do we partner with?


    Technology. Art. Fashion. What happens when you combine these three to create something new? OnePlus and JCC (Jean-Charles de Castelbajac), disruptors in their own industries, came together for an artistic collaboration that combined OnePlus technology with JCCs imaginative touch.

    JCC is a French artist who shares a common dream with OnePlus: disrupt the norm and show the world more is possible.


    When we team up with movie franchises (that have honed their craft to perfection) to produce special edition smartphones, who do we choose?

    Star Wars and The Avengers.
    Employing innovative, groundbreaking technology to create cultural events that inspire and entertain, these franchises have redefined the movie industry’s definition of just what a movie can be—commercially and critically.


    To further explore the theme collaboration, we interviewed one of the creative directors who helped elevate the OnePlus 7T Series launch with an incredibly smooth video.

    ‘Smooth Like Never Before’

    Italian director Leonardo Dalessandri is perhaps best known for his short film ‘Watchtower of Turkey’ which was nominated for ‘Best of Vimeo 2014’ and has earned over 500 million views worldwide. ‘Watchtower of Turkey’ features many of his signature smooth transitions achieved via very technical means and showcases his mastery of cinematic editing and visceral sound design.

    These skills are very much on display in Leonardo’s OnePlus film: ‘Smooth Like Never Before’ (which you can see at the end of the article).

    Leonardo has directed commercials for Corona, Apple, Samsung, Expedia, Google, Coca-Cola and now OnePlus.

    From a young age Leonardo always knew he wanted to be a filmmaker. His family showed him films from a very early age and soon after he was bitten by the filmmaking bug. The thought of another career never entered Leonardo’s mind because making films was always his dream—one that has come true.

    Making films for oneself, however, is wildly different from working with a partner, in this case OnePlus. Leonardo approached this situation by putting some of his own touch, flair and personality into the film while still making something that matched OnePlus’ vision. As Leonardo says:

    “It’s a case of blending their vision with my personal taste to create something that is new, fresh, and inspired.”

    The result is something that expresses the essence of OnePlus, the smoothness of a OnePlus device, yet is still unmistakably Leonardo’s work—it really couldn’t have been made by anyone else.

    Smartphones are now ubiquitous. Indeed, It’s difficult to imagine modern life without them. Leonardo says this phenomenon influenced the creation of the video—that in some way our devices become a part of us, day after day. So one of the goals in the film was to highlight how often we use our devices, and how often they are in our hands, rather than the more technical aspects.

    “It’s a device that becomes, day after day, a part of you. So, in this video we didn’t advertise any specific feature of the phone. Instead, it’s all about the touch, it’s smooth, it’s something to help you lead your life. You push a button, you swipe, you scroll, you enlarge, you zoom in and out, this is made for your hands, and it’s simple and beautiful.”

    As Leonardo touches on, the absence of traditional tech advertising is noticeable. Leonardo says his intention behind this is to emphasize that the smartphone is a companion as much as it is a device:

    “What I love about this video is that we are not advertising a device but a tech-friend. It’s something that helps us every day. We are living our life with this device when we touch, hold, and play with it. They improve our life and make things easy.”


    OnePlus consistently receives a lot of positive reviews from users and media about how responsive and snappy a OnePlus device feels. Before arriving in Hong Kong to discuss ideas for the film, OnePlus sent a device to Leonardo to experience and his overwhelming impression was of the incredible smoothness and responsiveness.

    “The first thing I noticed is how smooth this phone is and how quickly it responds to gestures, it feels smooth like silk. It makes the full experience very special.”


    One of the killer features of the OnePlus 7T Series is its 90 Hz display. Of course, for many people watching the film on a smartphone, they wouldn’t be seeing it on a 90 Hz screen. Expressing and conveying the benefits of 90 Hz smoothness is really something that has to be seen in person to be believed. How did Leonardo convey this sense of smoothness to people watching on regular 60 Hz displays?

    One way Leonardo gives the impression of smoothness is through the use of tactile and sensorial imagery. The image of a hand gliding over the surface of water, a hand touching silk, the spinning of a globe—they all amount to give the audience an overwhelmingly smooth impression. In Leonardo’s own words:

    “In the film, we give the audience a feeling of smoothness by creating an experience that is tactile, sensorial, smooth: It’s an experience, other than just being a tool.”



    Leonardo was eager to work with OnePlus after their initial meeting. He felt that, like himself, OnePlus also has incredible passion for what they do. Just like one of Leonardo’s films, a OnePlus device is also very much a labor of love:

    “Our first meeting was full of good vibes, and I could see their passion, their attachment to the brand. It just made me happy to see these guys loving what they do. I couldn’t be happier to collaborate with a team of passionate people that love what they do.”

    After working with OnePlus and using a OnePlus smartphone in the course of creating the video, Leonardo has continued to use the device in his day-to-day life. Of course, he had to use the phone to understand its capabilities but he was so impressed with its performance and appearance that he hasn’t stopped using it:

    “What I can do with this phone goes beyond my expectations, after all it’s also a beautiful thing to carry in your pocket and use when the moment calls.”


    Being a filmmaker, the thing that attracts Leonardo the most is—of course—the camera. Recently, he was in Cuba and Costa Rica where he found himself frequently grabbing the OnePlus to shoot street scenes due to the versatility of the triple camera.

    “The three beautiful lenses provide lots of interpretation of the life you’re living, the picture you want to shoot, and the wide lens is just great. It’s a perfect companion for me.”

    OnePlus lives by its Never Settle motto. This is something that resonated with Leonardo as he feels it is also applicable to his way of life and his work. What does Never Settle mean to him?

    “Never settle keeps me learning, keeps me curious every day. No one should settle, never.. this world is too big and beautiful to waste our time and settle instead of pursuing our passions.

    The shared, passionate belief in the Never Settle ideal, and the desire to innovate with craft and excellence, certainly made for a like-minded collaboration.

    Now that you have a sense of who Leonardo is, his attitude towards technology, and his feelings about OnePlus and its devices, please watch ‘Smooth Like Never Before’:

    So, what’s your impression of the film? Does it capture the smooth feeling of using a OnePlus device? Which image most conveys the sense of smoothness to you? Feel free to leave your comments below!

  2. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Nov 14, 2019

    YRJ , Nov 14, 2019 :
    Great post @Charles C.
    The video and especially the transition at 0:03 is sooo satisfying.
    Smoothness in every frame :innocent: and did I talk about the skin touch and those "goosebumps" ? ah!
    My favourite video from OnePlus yet. After the Who do you love video, ofc! XD
    Good Job, Leonardo Dalessandri.

    devil112, MosheG1 and PrakarshX like this.
  3. Preceptor
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 14, 2019

    Preceptor , via OnePlus 7T , Nov 14, 2019 :
    Leonardo, The real master of creating such an awesome cinematic videos. Such a sharp clear pictures and amazing sound. Turkey video is an awesome one showing the cultural aspects of a country. It's Fantastic Job!

    superplus and PrakarshX like this.
  4. PrakarshX
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 14, 2019


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    Cupcake Nov 14, 2019

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  9. Batman360
    Accessory Tester, OnePlus TV Product Ninja 2021 Nov 14, 2019


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  11. G_Ashutosh_Sharma_yXyy
    Honeycomb Nov 15, 2019

  12. BYG BYRD
    Honeycomb Nov 15, 2019

  13. RSP0902
    Eclair Nov 15, 2019

  14. 我爱大中
    Eclair Nov 15, 2019

  15. superplus
    Head Moderator Head Moderator Nov 15, 2019

    superplus , Nov 15, 2019 :
    Nice, even though it took a while to get to the Leonardo Dalessandri part, but definitely worth it, hadn't seen the Turkey vimeo before, absolutely beautiful and brilliant!

    Preceptor likes this.
  16. devil112
    Honeycomb Nov 16, 2019

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    Cupcake Nov 16, 2019


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