News, , , , , , , , , , , — December 5, 2011 15:14 — 0 Comments

Behind the scenes of Olive, first feature-length film to be shot on a smartphone

Nokia N8

The Nokia N8, as used to film Olive. Photograph: Golnaz Shahmirzadi

Nokia-shot feature film about little girl who won’t talk will get a theatrical releasein time for Oscars race

Not only is Olive the first full feature to be shot entirely on a smartphone, the producers want it to be the first independently financed feature film to be distributed across 2,000+ theaters in the United States without the backing of a major studio.

After raising an initial $500,000 privately to cover production costs on the 22-day shoot, the producers have set up a kickstarter funding campaign to raise a further $300,000 for advertising and distribution of Olive.

The campaign closes 16 December 2011, so go over to the site and donate if you feel like supporting this worthy project.

The film stars Gena Rowlands, John Scurti, Chris Maher, and Ruby Alexander. Randi Zuckerberg (the older sister of Mark Zuckerberg) makes an appearance as a shoe sales girl. is supporting it (yes, we donated) because it’s a prime example of using new technology, ideas and funding to make a film without major studio influence – and cash. It can be done; but it needs the support of like-mindedindividualsor a community.

And if Olive is a success it opens up the door for others to copy the model and produce their own ‘smart’ films.

Of course, $800,000 is still a lot of money; you can make a film for a lot less – but production quality and professionalism comes at a price, and a budget of just under $1m is miniscule in comparison to most of the films that get produced – and into the theatres.

Watch the special behind the scenes video to see how Olive was made by adapting the Nokia N8 and crafting a 35mm lens adapter onto the smartphone in order to achieve a shallow depth of field. The N8 is also taped to a motorbike and a remote-controlled helicopter for overhead shots.

The results are very impressive, as co-director Hooman Khalili, says in the video, “that’s incredible, that was shot on a ‘cell phone’?”

Watch the making of Olive here – followed by the first five minutes of the feature film, all in one clip.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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