Blue Moon Smartphone Feature Film

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Creation Date July 16th, 2019
Updated Date Updated May 7th, 2020
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You have heard of it as more and more filmmakers talk about making movies with smartphones. There are countless short films being made every day but there are not enough good features shot with smartphones and that reality is coming to a close soon as more films like, “Blue Moon” shot with an iPhone in New Zealand are emerging. Listen to the Writer & Director Stef Harris; Actors Jed Brophy & Mark Hadlow best known as Nori & Dori from The Hobbit; Director of Photography Ryan O'Rourke and Editor Judd Resnick.
  1. He shot a photo of a gas station with his iPhone and wrote a treatment. He sent them to an old friend, who was a professional actor. That is the beginning of the backstory to Blue Moon, a feature film shot with an iPhone 7 in New Zealand. The director, Stef Harris is our guest on the SBP Podcast episode 54.Stef Harris is the writer and director of the, roughly 85 minute film shot with his iPhone. The film’s principal actors are Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow. The Director of Photography, Ryan O’Rourke, had to shoot the film with the iPhone and had to deal with long takes and a single location. The story behind the story of the characters is connected to the backstory of how the film evolved. Stef Harris is a police officer in New Zealand and took a picture of a lit up lone gas station using his smartphone. A picture of a thousand words is the saying. But literally, it turned into a screenplay filled with dialogue between two protagonists in a story: Horace Jones and Darren Cates. Listen to Stef Harris explain how the town came together to help him complete his film. A very inspiring story which may lead to inspiring you to make films using your own smartphone. Because no matter where you are, who you are…with a good story and the willingness to reach out, you can be a filmmaker. Film Credits: Rueben – Doug Brooks, Gina – Liz Mullane, Security Guard – Nathan Green, Police Officer – Mathew Crawford, Police Officer – Nicole Gardiner, Newsagent – Kyle Abbott, Police Officer - Jeshurun Scheib, Police Sergeant – Robert Ballantyne, Veronica Jones – Alison Lenton, Wahoe Chan – Lai Zhouwen, Gilly – Doug Brooks, Motorist – Simon Paynter, Geoffrey the cat.Directed by Stefen HarrisWritten by Stefen HarrisDirector of Photography Ryan O’RourkeEditor Judd ResnickSound Design Chris WinterComposer Tane Upjohn BeatsonSound Ben Dunker and Janja Heathfield Production companies Dark Horse Films - Kahu MediaProducers Stefen Harris and Pegeen O’RourkeExecutive Producer Tim Riley and Rich VizorSBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.Watch the trailer for Blue Moon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxmyCH8-ztkFollow Blue Moon on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlueMoonNZFilm/Website for Dark Horse Films: http://darkhorse-films.comOur Links: Get Tickets to the International Mobile Film Festival April 27 & 28: https://www.freshtix.com/events/international-mobile-film-festival-2Get all the details about this year’s film festival: http://bit.ly/MobileFilmRocksSubscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcastSBP Podcast Blog: http://sbppodcast.wordpress.comSBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studioiTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.comFacebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcastTwitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcastHashtag: MobilizeStories Mobile Film Community Website: http://mobilizestories.comSusy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotelloSBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsellSmartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmakingAre you starting a Podcast? Create a new podcast or network and use the code sbppodcast to apply a 25% discount and save: https://pcast.link/sbppodcast/© Copyright 2019 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.
  2. The way you approach a film as a director, screenwriter or actor, can be quite similar. It revolves and evolves around story, structure, and characters. Episode 55 of the SBP Podcast is a discussion with actor Jed Brophy. Jed has years of experience acting in many films you have probably heard of, Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, District 9…just to name a few. Jed is one of the principal actors of Blue Moon shot in New Zealand.We spoke with Jed Brophy, who is in New Zealand – Aotearoa. He shares a bit of his career and experience as an actor in the feature film Blue Moon, shot entirely with the iPhone. Blue Moon was written and directed by Stef Harris.Jed is an actor who has worked in many films. He’s also had the privilege to work in a number of Hollywood films. The stories he shares about his experience in both, traditional film and mobile film will inspire anyone thinking, or wondering about whether to dive into the world of making films using smartphones. You don’t have to make a feature film, but you need to start doing it at any capacity to realize the potential of what you can achieve as a filmmaker and storyteller using a smartphone camera. Jed Brophy shares how the longest take in Blue Moon took about 11 minutes, due to the extensive dialogue in each scene. They broke the 85 minute feature screenplay into several parts for their performance during production. Blue Moon was filmed in a total of about 30 hours in a single location. Jed shared the differences between working on a film like Lord Of The Rings and Blue Moon from a personal perspective. The budget and cost for Blue Moon was about $12,000.Jed explains how one of the differences between large action films and a mobile film, has to do with the number of stops and takes for each scene during production. When you have a big crew, much equipment and action scenes, such as in Peter Jackson’s films that Jed has worked on, there are many things that can go wrong. For a shadow that does not belong in a shot, to many technical malfunctions. All the stops extend the time of production and you end up with a few minutes of usable footage in a typical day. Wherein a mobile film like Blue Moon, you end your day with about 30 minutes of usable footage. Jed shares specific differences in crew size and equipment, which can also lower the production time in a mobile film set’s production.Jed has played creatures in some films. He’s had to endure hours of makeup and prosthetics prep. He shares the experience of that experience. Jed also compares the difference and process he goes through playing creatures versus human characters.Listen to this episode to listen to the entire conversation, including Jed Brophy’s projects and his views on mobile smartphone filmmaking. Jed shares great tips and advice on making films using smartphones. He also shares a few stories regarding his experience working with Peter Jackson and the film industry in general. Jed Brophy is very excited about the potential of making films using smartphones and his views are very inspiring. What does Jed Brophy think about the future of mobile filmmaking? Listen to this episode and find out. SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.Jed was also kind enough to send a message to the filmmakers taking part in the International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego April 27 & 28. Watch the trailer for Blue Moon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxmyCH8-ztkJed Brophy on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0112400/Follow Jed Brophy on Social Media:Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrophyJedFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jed-Brophy-517155004963438/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jedibrophy/Blue Moon by Dark Horse Films: http://darkhorse-films.com Previous Episode 54 with Blue Moon Director Stef Harris: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmaking/blue-moon-smartphone-feature-filmmaking-in-new-zealand-864c2632b96fOur Links: Get Tickets to the International Mobile Film Festival April 27 & 28: https://www.freshtix.com/events/international-mobile-film-festival-2Get all the details about this year’s film festival: http://bit.ly/MobileFilmRocksSubscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcastSBP Podcast Blog: http://sbppodcast.wordpress.comSBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studioiTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.comFacebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcastTwitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcastHashtag: MobilizeStories Mobile Film Community Website: http://mobilizestories.comSusy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotelloSBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsellSmartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmakingAre you starting a Podcast? Create a new podcast or network and use the code sbppodcast to apply a 25% discount and save: https://pcast.link/sbppodcast/© Copyright 2019 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.
  3. Episode 59The smartphone camera is the window to your story. As your story unfolds on your screen you are watching your film as you record it. Acting in front of the iPhone camera was a lot like acting in theater on a stage. Blue Moon was shot in one location with a small crew. Mark Hadlow is the lead actor in the film, Horace Jones playing alongside Jed Brophy (Darren Cates) as co-lead. The 85-minute feature film is an incredible performance and a great story that begins in a gas station lit up like a spaceship in the dark night. Episode 59 of the SBP Podcast brings a deep conversation with actor Mark Hadlow.In this episode we speak about the making of Blue Moon and Mark shares some behind-the-scenes stories, including his real-life daughter Olivia Hadlow who plays Lucille Jones as Horace Jones’ daughter. Mark also shares a story about when he and Jed worked in The Hobbit, cast as Dwarf brothers Dori and Nori. One important part of the message from Mark is how you need to surround yourself with the right people and build a family that supports you.If you are thinking about making feature films with your smartphone you need to realize it’s not an easy task as a filmmaker. You need to take the focus of your story out of the technology and captivate your viewer closely by the performance. While the technology inspires anyone who has a smartphone to believe anyone can make a movie with a smartphone, it requires some skill in storytelling. But the story is king. And to deliver a good story, the performance has to stand out. Mark shares and emphasizes the work that actors need to put into their careers in order to deliver a good performance. “You can have the best camera and the best person that believes that they can actually film it because they’re really good at what they do. And they can see the magic of their camera angle and they can see what’s going on to film it. You could have the worst sound recording equipment but yet the person who’s doing the sound recording knows exactly—they’ve got the confidence to put it in the right place at the right time. You’ve still a good sound track, you’ve still got a good picture that you filmed.” Mark Hadlow.Mark Hadlow has been an actor for many years. His work is spread between Hollywood films and television to theatrical performances. It is no wonder after listening to the lead actor in Blue Moon why the film is doing so well. Not only does the film look and sound amazing, but the story absorbs its audience into a story through to the very end. That is the magic of making feature films with smartphones. You can make features with amazing landscape with cameras that cost almost as much as a house. You can carry your audience through mesmerizing footage in that sense and you can still deliver a good story. But with a smartphone camera, we are still limited by the size and capabilities of the lens. Take away all that footage and you may be left with a short film.Instead, focus on a great story and a great performance. Having confidence in your actors to develop their characters on screen and bring your audience inside the story to experience it as if they were there, in the middle of it…that is one of the virtues of smartphone filmmaking. “Mark Hadlow, ONZM, is one of New Zealand's best known actors. He has performed in countless theatre shows throughout New Zealand. Mark has made dozens of film appearances, several television series, commercials and radio voice-overs in the thousands. He has directed many plays throughout New Zealand, some independent productions and for the Court Theatre in Christchurch. Playing the dwarf Dori in The Hobbit Trilogy, was Mark's third Peter Jackson movie. Mark has been nominated for and won several awards,” Mark Hadlow “loves the one man show format and ‘MAMIL’ written by his best mate Gregory Cooper opened in 2014 and has since numbered 179 performances to over 40,000 people throughout NZ with a highly successful 2nd season in 2018 in Christchurch at the Isaac Theatre Royal.”"Blue Moon" by Stef Harris of Dark Horse Films is a thriller. It was filmed in Motueka, New Zealand and held its world premiere in the NZIFF in 2018 in New Zealand. It is currently in film festivals and won the Gold Remi Award at the WorldFest Houston film festival 2019. Special thanks to Richard Vizor, one of the Executive Producers of Blue Moon for connecting us to this wonderful team, or family, in New Zealand. SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.Watch the trailer for Blue Moon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxmyCH8-ztkMark Hadlow on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0352921/Mark Hadlow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therealmarkhadlow/Mark Hadlow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mark_markhadlowBiography: https://www.nzonscreen.com/person/mark-hadlow/biographyListen to Jed Brophy podcast episode 55: https://sbppodcast.podiant.co/e/373e0139b4fe44/Listen to Stef Harris podcast episode 54: https://sbppodcast.podiant.co/e/37387c24b3e82c/Our Links: Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcastSBP Podcast Blog: http://sbppodcast.wordpress.comSBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studioiTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.comFacebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcastTwitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcastHashtag: MobilizeStories Mobile Film Community Website: http://mobilizestories.comSusy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotelloSBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsellSmartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmakingAre you starting a Podcast? Create a new podcast or network and use the code sbppodcast to apply a 25% discount and save: https://pcast.link/sbppodcast/© Copyright 2019 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.
  4. Episode 62You have heard of it as more and more filmmakers talk about making movies with smartphones. There are countless short films being made every day but there are not enough good features shot with smartphones and that reality is coming to a close soon as more films like, “Blue Moon” are emerging. Director of Photography Ryan O’Rourke is the person behind the iPhone 7 camera who shot, “Blue Moon,” the feature length film in a very short period of time. Our guest for Episode 62 of the SBP Podcast shares a behind-the-scenes look with our listeners. Ryan is in Nelson, New Zealand, which is about 30 miles from where the film was shot.Ryan O’Rourke and I had a great discussion about his part in the filmmaking process. Ryan is from Nelson, New Zealand and he and director, Stef Harris have worked together before. After all, they both worked on the police force together. He shared many of the people involved in the film had a similar background. But hey, let’s stick to the story behind the other story: The feature film shot with iPhone that is going viral around the world. Episode 62 of the SBP Podcast is a wonderfully informational episode from a filmmaker who shot a cinematic Hollywood style film using an iPhone in a single location with a small crew of about 8 people and two reputable actors, Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow best known for “The Hobbit.” Ryan shares the different settings he used to film with the iPhone from the native camera and the FilmicPro app. He also went on to share some in-depth details about the settings and why they were set. The settings were very helpful to Judd Resnick who edited the footage into a complete cinematic film. Ryan also shares why the anamorphic lens from Moondog Labs was instrumental in giving the footage it’s cinematic aesthetics. We go into many details about the process to make this film work and if you watch the trailer, below, you will realize that the movie’s visual and audio quality is truly cinematic. All the elements of any other film we are used to seeing in many films in theaters or streaming services online…they are there. Are you inspired?“It’s never been easier or more accessible, I suppose, to make a feature than it has now. If you’ve got a good story and you want to tell it then…the technology’s never been more enriched.” Ryan O’Rourke.If you are a filmmaker making short films and want to make a feature film, then this is one way to do it with a much lower budget. And not only is it about the budget…Ryan and I share the opportunities available to feature mobile filmmakers due to a demand in the industry. SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.Watch the trailer for Blue Moon:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJV_vtIg-BMFilm Credits: Rueben: Doug Brooks, Gina: Liz Mullane, Security Guard: Nathan Green, Police Officer: Mathew Crawford, Police Officer: Nicole Gardiner, Newsagent: Kyle Abbott, Police Officer: Jeshurun Scheib, Police Sergeant: Robert Ballantyne, Veronica Jones: Alison Lenton, Wahoe Chan: Lai Zhouwen, Gilly: Doug Brooks, Motorist: Simon Paynter, Geoffrey the cat.Directed by Stefen HarrisWritten by Stefen HarrisDirector of Photography Ryan O’RourkeEditor Judd ResnickSound Design Chris WinterComposer Tane Upjohn BeatsonSound Ben Dunker and Janja HeathfieldProduction companies Dark Horse Films & Kahu MediaProducers Stefen Harris and Pegeen O’RourkeExecutive Producer Tim Riley and Rich VizorFollow Ryan O’Rourke: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kahumedia/Twitter:https://twitter.com/ryanorourke_dopand https://twitter.com/KahuMediaOur Links: Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcastSBP Podcast Blog: http://sbppodcast.wordpress.comSBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studioiTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.comFacebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcastTwitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcastHashtag: MobilizeStories Mobile Film Community Website: http://mobilizestories.comSusy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotelloSBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsellSmartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmakingAre you starting a Podcast? Create a new podcast or network and use the code sbppodcast to apply a 25% discount and save: https://pcast.link/sbppodcast/© Copyright 2019 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.
  5. Is a film editor invisible? Shooting a feature film with smartphones is the new sensation in filmmaking. But it’s only a part of the process. Episode 67 is a discussion with the editor of the viral mobile film, Blue Moon. Judd Resnick discusses his experience editing iPhone footage.When you are looking online for smartphone mobile filmmaking the chatter is mostly about the phone as a camera. It is easy to assume that editing works just as with any camera but the reality for most filmmakers, is that even without smartphone cameras, different cameras can create issues for an editor. A long time ago, editors had to deal with mixed formats with different aspect ratios. Judd speaks about the codec with Apple versus the PC and the software. Judd Resnick shares some of the nuances he experienced, but you would not realize it by watching the film. Editors are a bit invisible and undervalued by the general public.Judd is a professional editor. He moved to New Zealand from San Diego, California and now lives in Christchurch. While he lived in Timaru, he met Ryan O’Rourke who shot Blue Moon, who introduced him to Stef Harris, the writer and director of the film.Blue Moon was shot in Montueka, New Zealand during six nights in thirty hours in and around a gas station. The film has a cinematic look and sound that is inspiring more people to begin their filmmaking career with smartphone cameras. What is cinematic? Judd explains the qualities of cinematic footage during the podcast.The actors, Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow, made the editing easier for Judd. He explains why he could hold on a shot for a long time without the need to cut to anything without a negative impact to the viewer. The film was pretty much shot with single takes and that helped Judd with the editing process. He shares advice to filmmakers the perspective of the editor. He also gives credit to Jack Bayliss, who did the color correction for Blue Moon.The trailer for Blue Moon is one of the main reasons Blue Moon has gone viral on social media. The film has only been seen, currently, at film festivals. Judd shared how he edited the trailer and the importance of good audio to create the intensity he created in the opening of the trailer.“I think the best directors know the teams to surround themselves with and know when to ask what’s working in this—what isn’t and understand, ‘Okay.’ And that’s why so many films end up on the cutting room floor.”His advice for editors, as a professional, is invaluable. He speaks directly to our listeners about what to consider when editing films regardless of the camera that is used. His advice to filmmakers includes how valuable good audio is to the outcome of a film. The collaboration between people working on a crew is highly important to the ultimate quality of the film and the result of how your films are perceived. Judd also worked as an editor in a film you may have heard of, YellowBrickRoad in 2010, edited by Judd Resnick with Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton. You can watch the trailers for Blue Moon and YellowBrickRoad, below.SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones. Watch the trailer of Blue Moon edited by Judd Resnick: https://youtu.be/DJV_vtIg-BMWatch the trailer for YellowBrickRoad edited by J.D. Funari: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1398428/videoplayer/vi2970000921Follow Jud Resnick:IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0720318/Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/juddresnickArticle on a film he edited YellowBrickRoad: https://variety.com/2010/film/markets-festivals/yellowbrickroad-1117942044/Our Links: Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcastSBP Podcast Blog: http://sbppodcast.wordpress.comSBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studioiTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.comGlobal Mobile Film Awards™ 2019: http://globalmobilefilmawards.comFacebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcastTwitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcastMFTV - Mobile Film Network Distribution Channel: http://MobileChannel.TVSusy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotelloSBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsellSmartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmakingAre you starting a Podcast? Create a new podcast or network and use the code sbppodcast to apply a 25% discount and save: https://pcast.link/sbppodcast/© Copyright 2019 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.

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