Steven Soderbergh's 'High Flying Bird' shot on an iPhone, gets distribution deal

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in iPhone
Netflix is slated to distribute the drama "High Flying Bird" from the award-winning Soderbergh, who also released another iPhone-shot film, "Unsane," in early 2018.

Director Steven Soderbergh


"High Flying Bird," a basketball drama from director Steven Soderbergh that was reportedly shot on an iPhone, has been acquired by distribution by Netflix, Deadline and other Hollywood press outlets reported on Tuesday. The film stars "Moonlight" co-star Andre Holland and Zazie Beetz, and was written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for "Moonlight," which was based on his own play.

Soderbergh's previous film "Unsane," which he shot almost entirely with an iPhone 7 Plus, was released in March of 2018. Soderbergh said at the time that he loved shooting with an iPhone and planned to do so again for future films. Soderbergh "is understood to have shot the movie in double-quick time earlier this year on an iPhone," Deadline said.

"High Flying Bird" was shot in just two weeks this past March, and Soderbergh reportedly had a working cut done less than three hours later. Actor Joshua Leonard, who co-starred in "Unsane," said in an interview with AppleInsider that Soderbergh had done the same thing with "Unsane," assembling the film in a matter of hours during a wrap party.

Shooting the film this year indicates that Soderbergh likely used an iPhone X, or possibly an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus.

While Apple has begun to make bids for original content on the film side, it's unclear if they made any attempt to acquire "High Flying Bird." Apple representatives are at the Toronto Film Festival eying buys and even made a pair of them, although "High Flying Bird" did not screen in Toronto.

Netflix will release "High Flying Bird" in 2019.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,042member
    Cue the trolls complaining because Soderbergh uses professional rigging, lense, audio, and lighting, attachments while filming on the iPhone.

    It just isn't fair!




    racerhomie3StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Didn't know he is a Noel Gallagher fan, cool
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    All the best directors shoot on iPhone now. Is this even news?
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Saw his "Unsane" recently and he sure knows how to get the maximum potential out of an iPhone!
    tmaypscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    That’s really cool
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    irelandireland Posts: 17,391member
    I've yet to see Unsane, but I'd bet with Soderbergh putting the film together this quickly the quality will suffer.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    ireland said:
    I've yet to see Unsane, but I'd bet with Soderbergh putting the film together this quickly the quality will suffer.
    Unsane was not bad for a low-budget movie. The story was a bit 'incredible', but suspension of disbelief is part and parcel of the moviegoing experience.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    ireland said:
    I've yet to see Unsane, but I'd bet with Soderbergh putting the film together this quickly the quality will suffer.
    The speed gains are from not needing to rent, truck, set up, take down, and re-set up massive camera systems. 

    What quality are you referring to? Picture quality? Because writing and editing have nothing to do with the camera used. 
    fastasleeppscooter63watto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 14
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,572member
    nunzy said:
    All the best directors shoot on iPhone now. Is this even news?

    ߘ⦬t;/p> (Emoji didn't take!)

    edited September 11
  • Reply 10 of 14
    nunzy said:
    All the best directors shoot on iPhone now. Is this even news?
    No they don’t. Yes it is. 
    watto_cobraireland
  • Reply 11 of 14

    ireland said:
    I've yet to see Unsane, but I'd bet with Soderbergh putting the film together this quickly the quality will suffer.
    And why would that be?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    irelandireland Posts: 17,391member
    ireland said:
    I've yet to see Unsane, but I'd bet with Soderbergh putting the film together this quickly the quality will suffer.
    Unsane was not bad for a low-budget movie. The story was a bit 'incredible', but suspension of disbelief is part and parcel of the moviegoing experience.
    Suspension of disbelief is more readily achieved the better the film.
    edited September 12
  • Reply 13 of 14
    The better the film doesn't fully depend on quality of camera for many types of movies.
    With good lighting, and and a good knowledge of your equipment, you can do pretty extraordinary things with smartphones.

    Reducing your costs, logistics and increasing turnover allows you to many things you wouldn't otherwise be able to do including actually making many more films; financing is a constant headache for modern Hollywood movies.

    You can do things like inexpensive reshoots, change locations and setup easily, possibility of guerilla filmmaking (without permits), more coverage shots, quicker shots in very crowded areas, etc.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 14
    irelandireland Posts: 17,391member
    ireland said:
    I've yet to see Unsane, but I'd bet with Soderbergh putting the film together this quickly the quality will suffer.
    The speed gains are from not needing to rent, truck, set up, take down, and re-set up massive camera systems. 

    What quality are you referring to? Picture quality? Because writing and editing have nothing to do with the camera used. 
    I know a little bit about this subject.

    Obviously picture quality will suffer filming on a phone, but right now this seems to be the look he’s going for so that’s fine. I am referring to the quality of the art: the final release—his approach to editing the film together so quickly. I know he typically shoots to the edit, but I worry this new way for him is encouraging him to cut the time down to such a degree the finished product suffers and doesn’t get the necessary time the project needs to ferment.

    Some of my favourite films took a long time to edit. Even Scorsese, who very much shoots to his storyboard, takes the time with Schoonmaker to ensure they achieve the edit they are looking for. I also disagree with your last point, btw. I can see why you’d think that, and in a certain way you are correct. But shooting on a phone is different and has its limitations, and IMO would inform the approach one might take to writing and conceiving said film (consciously and unconsciously). Especially if the director is the writer. And as a screenplay is visual, alternate script effects your edit.

    Don’t get me wrong, though, I see nothing inherently wrong with using a phone to make a film. We just should be aware of the differences and respect them. Each film is unique and a tailored approach is always welcome. Be it shooting 800 hours of footage for ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ or experimenting with digital early on for Danny Boyle and Anthony Dod Mantle. But streamlining the technology side of filmmaking going forward is a great idea. I’d love Apple to put some weight behind it. The digital filmmaking industry needs all of the help it can get. It only getting more complex.
    edited September 12
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