Oscar-winning director does iPhone ads

Leaks by tweeting actors up for parts say Sam Mendes is filming a series of video chats

The buzz in Hollywood and Silicon Valley is that the TV ads for Apple's next iPhone are being shot by Sam Mendes, the Academy Award-winning director and husband of actress Kate Winslet (the couple are currently separated).

According to Engadget, citing an unnamed "trusted source" and a couple of actor-tweets, at least one spot features a mother and daughter having a video chat conversation using the device's front-facing camera.

Mendes is best known in the U.S. for his first feature film, American Beauty (1999), which earned him a best-director Oscar. But his U.S. film debut came on top of a distinguished career as a stage director (4 Tonys, 3 Critics Circles, 3 Lawrence Oliviers) and has been followed, according to IMDB.com, by a series of box office hits:

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He also produced Starter for 10 (2006), The Kite Runner (2007), Things We Lost in the Fire (2007) and Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007). He's got four projects in development: Netherland, Lost in Austen, Middlemarch and Butcher's Crossing.

He's a busy man. If he doesn't already use an iPhone, he soon will.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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