Smartphone film causes a stir

March 26, 2012 8:30:22 PM PDT
A new film is causing a stir in the movie business because it is the first feature film shot entirely on a smartphone. It's the idea of a Bay Area radio personality.

"Olive" is the story of a young girl who transforms people's lives without ever saying a word is a feature film, shot on a Nokia smartphone.

"One of the main goals was to be the first because if you are the second cellphone movie, nobody cares," said Hooman Khalili, the director-writer.

That is Hooman from Alice Radio's morning show. The film was his idea.

"There's nothing practical about this, nothing logical. You just hope to come up with a ground breaking idea and hope and pray it comes to fruition," said Khalili.

The key was getting the optics, attaching a 35 millimeter lens to the cellphone. Bay Area filmmaker Patrick Gillis was Khalili's co-director and designer of the system.

"It was recorded inside the camera the same thing 15-year-old kids are out there shooting monster movies in the backyard," said Gillis.

It was recorded on micro SD cards. It had to be lightweight enough for shots from a model helicopter.

"The technology allows you to make a beautiful Hollywood-style movie with this basic equipment," said Chris Kelly, the executive producer.

They began shooting before securing financing. Silicon Valley attorney Chris Kelly got the $500,000 for the 28-day production. The capper came when Oscar nominated actress Gena Rowlands told Khalili she would appear in the film.

"That's Hollywood royalty," said Khalili.

The film played a theatre in Los Angeles in December for Oscar consideration. They're looking for wider distribution. From a guy we know from comedy on the radio comes this sweet, charming family film with a message.

"Everyone single one of us is down in the dumps at one point in our lives or another, and the way we get out of it is by having one person sit across from us and listen to us," said Khalili.

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