SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking header image 1

SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking

9
Feb 2021

Smartphone Feature Filmmaking in Lockdown with Jennifer Zhang

Imagine a story realized from your imagination. How you can turn that story into a feature film using a smartphone for a camera is impressive. Now edit the story in an app on your phone. Sounds unreal, right? That’s the real story behind the film “Charon” by Jennifer Zhang. Episode 94 of the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking is a discussion about her journey.

Jennifer is a passionate creator and storyteller. I was honored to talk with one of the contestants in the feature film competition at San Diego’s International Mobile Film Festival. The festival takes place in April this year. All the films are shot with smartphone cameras. “Charon” is one of three feature films competing for the 2021 Best Feature Film Award. 

The story took place, literally, during lockdown in Los Angeles. Jennifer Zhang had just about completed a deal for her next feature film, when the lockdown was announced in California. It was as devastating as you can imagine as investors began to pull out. However, this superhero named Jennifer, decided to make another feature film using the situation to her advantage. 

“Charon” is a story about a woman under house arrest who has a boyfriend turning up the pressure on her to do things that are scary, to say the least. Her character, Charon, discovers an intriguing mystery behind his requests and she brings viewers to discover his motives to a shocking surprise.

Jennifer Zhang shares her experience making her film from the concept, and screenwriting, all the way through to post production. Jennifer shares how she struggled to film her performance as her character, Charon, on her own using her iPhone 8 Plus. The seamless result is astonishing. You would not realize how many struggles she had and persisted through. She was alone in her apartment during production for most of the film. 

Actor Eric Radic played her boyfriend, Jerry. Jennifer cleverly used Skype as a medium to bring his performance in her film through the screen of her computer, and it worked very well. 

One of the challenges was a fight scene that takes place in her apartment, choreographed and performed by Marc Morisseau. 

The fight scene was one of the hardest parts of making her film, according to her account. When she explains the details of what it entailed you will realize the challenges and fears endured during production. 

Jennifer’s entire story in her film keeps the viewer engulfed and absorbed in the story. Cameras and self-isolation during the pandemic magically disappear and the mystery and suspense of the story stand out.

It’s not by chance that happens, and it has not much to do with her iPhone camera. Even though it would have been almost impossible to pull off with any other camera, that was unavailable to her during the pandemic anyway. 

Jennifer Zhang married her screenwriting and storytelling skills with the tools at her disposal to produce a feature film during lockdown. When you watch this 73 minute film, you will become entrenched with the story pretty soon after it begins and you won’t want to pause and miss a thing until the end.

It’s been quite difficult to make films during the pandemic, especially during the early weeks after the lockdown in California. Even during normal situations, it’s not easy to make a feature film that can capture your attention for a longer period of time. But when it revolves around the protagonist as the center of the story alone during confinement, it’s quite impressive. One movie that comes to mind at the time of writing this, is “Rear Window” with Jimmy Stewart.

Jennifer Zhang’s performance as a victim is realistic and intriguing. In one word, I would say the film as a whole is riveting. 

Be sure to watch the film during the festival on last weekend in April. 

After you listen to this episode, go to our Patreon Page and subscribe to listen to the exclusive bonus episode in which I ask Jennifer a secret question and she shares a secret answer and a unique valuable tip for anyone writing a screenplay. It’s a  very inspiring, and in-depth special episode for our Patreon subscribers.

Here is the link to access the Bonus Episode on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/47339376 

Log in to your Patreon account first or create one. Click on the link to become a patron & access the secret bonus episode.

SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones. 

 

Follow Jennifer Zhang:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheJenniferZhang/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejenniferzhang/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zhangarang

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jenniferzhangmusic

Press Release “Charon”: https://www.yahoo.com/now/feature-film-charon-shot-entirely-223400335.html

Watch ”Charon Trailer": https://youtu.be/hOPNODC-2qE

 

Mentioned During the Podcast:

“The Evil Inside" Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psHolfGwUts

 Random Fight Sequence with my friend Marc: https://youtu.be/0y7Py9J7JJ4

Official Music Site: www.jenniferzhangmusic.com  

Our Links:  

Smartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmaking  

Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcast 

SBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studio  

Video and Film Streaming Distribution for Smartphone Films: http://mobilefilmstories.com  

International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.com 

Facebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcast 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcast 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mobilefilmsd/ 

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665  
 
Susy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotello 

SBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsell 

Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/sbp-podcast-mobile-filmmaking-928180  

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mobilfilmfestival?sub_confirmation=1 

© Copyright 2021 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.

 

12
Jan 2021

Mystery Story and Smartphone Video Travels with Michael and Melissa Harlow

Michael Harlow shared a story with me almost ten years ago and told me it was a secret. Imagine you stumble across an intriguing discovery that is filled with mystery. I know some people cannot keep a secret for a number of hours, but imagine keeping this big discovery a secret all these years. 

My guests on the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking episode 93 are Michael and Melissa Harlow. They share the art and tech of earning a living as a voice over professional. They also discuss how they created a travel vlog using smartphones to produce videos of their adventures. Imagine dropping your career and selling everything you own to spend your life traveling. One key to doing that is to live debt free and my guests will share how they were able to do that and how you can do it too. 

Michael shares the secret story with our listeners. It’s a story about a mysterious discovery that I find very intriguing. It’s exciting that Michael is sharing this story publicly for the first time with our listeners. It could be that one of you can help Michael in a documentary about his discovery. I won’t say more because you’ll need to listen to his story to find out why he kept it a secret so long and why I’m excited to share it with the world in this episode of our podcast. 

Some of the tips Melissa and Michael share include how to create your own travel vlog using smartphone cameras. I met Michael and Melissa in person, as San Diego natives, during the Inaugural International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego back in 2012 after listening to Michael’s secret story. 

If you want to live a life as an adventure vlogger, either for years or a few months, Melissa and Michael will share some great tips with you. It’s your life, and it’s your story.

SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones. 

Follow Michael and Melissa on their adventures on social media and let them know you heard them in our podcast.

The Adventure Travelers Links:
Subscribe to YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/theadventuretravelers?sub_confirmation=1 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheAdventureTravelers 
Blog & Website: https://theadventuretravelers.com/ 
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheAdventureTravelers/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theadventuretravelers/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelharlow/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/theadventuretra/
Tumblr:  https://theadventuretravelers-universe.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdventureTvlrs

Melissa’s Website: http://melissaharlowvo.com 
How Melissa got started and thrived in VoiceOver: http://melissaharlowvo.com/index.php/change-to-voice-over-career/

Our Links:  

Smartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmaking  

Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcast 

SBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studio  

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665  

Video and Film Streaming Distribution for Smartphone Films: http://mobilefilmstories.com  

International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.com 

Facebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcast 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcast 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mobilefilmsd/ 

MFTV - Mobile Film Network Distribution Channel: http://MobileChannel.TV 

Susy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotello 

SBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsell 

Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/sbp-podcast-mobile-filmmaking-928180  

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mobilfilmfestival?sub_confirmation=1 

© Copyright 2021 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.

29
Dec 2020

Smartphone Moviemaking Insights with Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow

We talked about horses and hobbits with our honorary ambassadors Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow. You may know Jed and Mark from their roles as Dwarf brothers Nori and Dori in Peter Jackson’s, The Hobbit. They also starred together in the feature-length film shot with iPhone, Blue Moon by Stef Harris. Mark’s real life daughter, Olivia Hadlow also had a role in the film.

We probably should tell you that our ambassadors become part of our family. But Jed and Mark have a camaraderie and brotherly love for each other that goes back many years. They’ve worked together playing different roles in many of Peter Jackson’s films like Lord Of The Rings and King Kong.

Mark Hadlow spent weeks touring in theater for his stage performance in Cinderella, and he’d just got home when he sat down with Jed and myself to record this podcast episode on December 20th. 

The conversation draws you in as the discussion moves from talking about storytelling and filmmaking to the experience as theater actors working on a film that takes place in a single location. Jed and Mark each share the differences between working on a theater stage and on a set with a mobile phone as the camera. Then we talk about the difference between a smartphone and a traditional camera on set, and how that affected the experience from the actors’ perspective.

Episode 92 of the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking will bring you through an evening discussion with two fascinating actors in New Zealand. The conversation gets pretty entertaining. Listening to best friends who refer to each other as brothers, kid around and bring you into their conversation as a friend. 

As you listen to this episode you’ll find yourself believing you’re a part of the conversation. You may laugh out loud. Best of all, you’ll be inspired by their message to you. 

Mark Hadlow will be sitting on the judging panel for the feature film competition for the 2021 edition of the International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego. Jed Brophy will sit on the judging panel for the short film competition. The festival will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary event and 13 years since its launch in 2009. IMFF 2021 will take place during the last weekend of April in San Diego.

SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones. 

Be sure to follow Mark and Jed on social media and let them know you heard them in our podcast. Listen to previous episodes on this podcast with Jed Brophy Episode 55, and Mark Hadlow Episode 59.

Jed Brophy’s Website: https://www.jedbrophy.nz 

Jed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrophyJed 

Mark Hadlow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therealmarkhadlow/ 

Jed Brophy SBP Podcast Episode 55: https://mobilefilmmaking.podbean.com/e/jed-brophy-in-smartphone-feature-blue-moon-episode-55/ 

Mark Hadlow SBP Podcast Episode 59: https://mobilefilmmaking.podbean.com/e/the-acting-performance-of-a-feature-smartphone-film-with-mark-hadlow/

 

Links from this episode: 

Quoted by Jed Brophy about mobile filmmaking, Richard Taylor: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0853050/  

Mark’s performance as The Baron in Cinderella:  https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-lifestyle/star-entertainment/cinderella-comes-life-huge-beautiful-and-sparkling-ball 

Watch Blue Moon: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8124376/ 

IMFF 2021 Judges: https://internationalmobilefilmfestival.com/news/53-2021-judges 

 

Our Links:  

Smartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmaking    

Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcast   

SBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studio     

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665     

Video and Film Streaming Distribution for Smartphone Films: http://mobilefilmstories.com    

International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.com    

Facebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcast    

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcast    

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mobilefilmsd/    

MFTV - Mobile Film Network Distribution Channel: http://MobileChannel.TV    

Susy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotello    

SBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsell

Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/sbp-podcast-mobile-filmmaking-928180

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mobilfilmfestival?sub_confirmation=1    

© Copyright 2020 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.

22
Dec 2020

Filmmaking Cameras and the Smartphone with James Smith

James Smith was “never a fan of mobile filmmaking,” he says. When he and his partner, Caroline Spence, lost their camera person and the actual camera on their film set, Caroline suggested using a smartphone.

In episode 91 of the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking we bring our listeners to the U.K. and talk to experienced filmmaker, James Smith. We discuss all things filmmaking and compare the differences between production with a traditional camera and smartphone cameras. 

James shares many great tips, and advice, about making films using a hybrid technique of traditional filmmaking with the smartphone camera. He also explains, in great detail, the benefits of treating your mobile film production as professional as possible, while at the same time, using the smartphone camera to your advantage. 

James Smith and Caroline Spence, whom we spoke with in episode 90, have produced two feature-length films with their smartphone: Cyberlante and Surveilled. 

We discuss acquiring a crew, which happens gradually over time. We chat a bit about the unique industry that filmmaking is, which is not a traditional 9 to 5 job. Adaptability and passion is ultimately necessary to survive in the filmmaking environment. 

Even though you are making a film with a smartphone, that still does not mean you don’t need funds to complete your project. We discuss a bit about the traditional funding process. James compares the benefits of funding in what I called “community funding” through crowdfunding. He also discussed a bit about what crowdfunding is like, and how it differs to traditional funding for filmmakers.

In this episode of our podcast James shares direct comparisons to mobile filmmaking versus traditional filmmaking during production, on a film set. The different attachments for the smartphone camera in comparison to traditional cameras, such as lenses, can be a challenge for traditional filmmakers used to larger gear. There are also quirks that can happen with apps, and phone settings, as simple turning off notifications so you don’t get a call while recording. There are many details to remember during your film production to prep your camera to adapt it from using it as your phone one minute and a filming camera the next.

SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones. 

You can watch Cyberlante on Amazon now: 
https://www.amazon.com/Cyberlante-Gavin-Gordon/dp/B08K32P3WX 

Follow James Smith:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsmithwriter  
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jsmithwriter/ 

LINKS:

Raya Films
www.RayaFilms.com 
https://twitter.com/cspenceproducer 
https://twitter.com/jsmithwriter 
https://twitter.com/RayaFilms 
http://www.facebook.com/RayaFilmsLondon   

Cyberlante
www.cyberlantemovie.com 
https://twitter.com/CyberlanteMovie 
http://www.facebook.com/cyberlantemovie 
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10063580 

Surveilled
www.surveilledmovie.com 
https://twitter.com/SurveilledMovie 
http://www.facebook.com/surveilledmovie 
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7336284 

Current Film Project not shot with smartphones: 
https://rayafilms.com/castingkill 

Our Links:  

Smartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmaking

Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcast  

SBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studio    

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665    

Video and Film Streaming Distribution for Smartphone Films: http://mobilefilmstories.com    

International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.com   

Facebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcast    

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcast   

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mobilefilmsd/    

Susy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotello    

SBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsell     

Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/sbp-podcast-mobile-filmmaking-928180     

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mobilfilmfestival?sub_confirmation=1    

© Copyright 2020 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.

17
Nov 2020

Lost Camera Turned To Smartphone Feature Film with Caroline Spence

When they lost their camera person on location, Caroline Spence of Raya Films, made the suggestion to use a smartphone and turned a bad situation into a fortunate one. 

Our guest in Episode 90 of the SBP Podcast Mobile Filmmaking is Caroline Spence. She is a screenwriter and producer, but she plays different roles on set as needed. She’s even played an assassin in one of the company’s films.

Without going through 89 of our previous episodes, I cannot recall a time when our podcast featured a guest filmmaker who had made more than one feature film with a smartphone. But our guest, has completed two feature length films. 

“Cyberlante,” has been released to Amazon Prime. Their second mobile feature film, “Surveilled,” was just accepted into the UK’s “biggest film festival,” Horror-on-Sea Film Festival.

My conversation with Caroline was lots of fun and inspiring and I believe you will enjoy listening to her share the experiences she has had during the production of two features shot on smartphones. “Cyberlante” was shot with the Google Pixel and “Surveilled” began filming with the same phone. However, during filming, something happened and they had to get a new phone, so they used a Samsung S9 Plus. 

Caroline has always loved the arts, drama and films. However, it was her work for a realtor that introduced her to the filmmaking industry, as a participant. 

It was after an experience, working for the realtor, to be on camera for a TV Travel Show that she teamed up with James Smith in 2004, and began to write screenplays and make films with Raya Films. 

Screenwriting has become her passion. She learned how to write screenplays on her own. She studied the craft from a book, reading screenplays and then studying the films from those screenplays. Although her screenplays received good reviews, even from people in Hollywood, she and her partner had trouble with funding for the films. So they shot most of their films on low budgets.

During one of those films, the cinematographer quit and took his camera with him, leaving James and Caroline without a camera. It was then, that Caroline brought up the idea of using a smartphone to experiment making a feature film. James agreed and so they began to shoot “Cyberlante,” A film about a young man who moves to a new town who begins to use his skills as a hacker out of curiosity and stumbles upon a situation at the isolated hotel he is working for.

Caroline shares the challenge of making that film because for one thing, she was writing the screenplay as they shot it. They were also filming it with a handful of people. Her partner, James, was directing and filming using the smartphone camera. Caroline was alternating between the role of sound tech and script supervisor. One of the actors was running sound while he was off camera so she could focus on continuity as script supervisor.

The film received great reviews and is currently available on Amazon Prime. 

Their second smartphone film, “Surveilled,” a mystery horror, was planned. They were surprised at how many people were willing to travel to the UK from different countries, to take part in the production. 

Caroline and James were in their small yacht in Spain in March, this year, when they were forced to quarantine. They kept trying to leave but about nine cancelled flights later, they realized they were stuck. So they made due and finished editing their film in there until they were able to leave in July. 

Currently, Caroline and James are working on their next film, which is not a smartphone film, “Casting Kill,” as they continue to make films with Raya Films. 

Caroline Spence knows how to turn bad situations into good outcomes and she shares several times that she has been able to do that. It’s quite inspiring to listen to her stories and accounts on being challenged and rising to the occasion with the best outcome.

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 Surveilled: https://youtu.be/wzu-mbO4eRM 

Watch the trailer for Cyberlante: https://youtu.be/ztnuWhHAnZw 

Watch it on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/Cyberlante-Gavin-Gordon/dp/B08K32P3WX 

Follow Caroline on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cspenceproducer

LINKS:

Raya Films
www.RayaFilms.com 
https://twitter.com/cspenceproducer 
https://twitter.com/jsmithwriter 
https://twitter.com/RayaFilms 
http://www.facebook.com/RayaFilmsLondon    

Cyberlante
www.cyberlantemovie.com 
https://twitter.com/CyberlanteMovie 
http://www.facebook.com/cyberlantemovie 
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10063580 

Surveilled
www.surveilledmovie.com 
https://twitter.com/SurveilledMovie 
http://www.facebook.com/surveilledmovie 
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7336284 

Current Film Project not shot with smartphones: https://rayafilms.com/castingkill

Our Links:  

Smartphone Filmmaking Publication on Medium: https://medium.com/smartphonefilmmaking     

Subscribe, support and listen to bonus episodes and more on Patreon: http://patreon.com/sbppodcast     

SBP Podcast Website: http://sbppodcast.studio      

iTunes/Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sbp-podcast/id1296673665     

Video and Film Streaming Distribution for Smartphone Films: http://mobilefilmstories.com    

International Mobile Film Festival Website: http://internationalmobilefilmfestival.com    

Facebook: http://facebook.com/sbppodcast     

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sbppodcast    

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mobilefilmsd/     

MFTV - Mobile Film Network Distribution Channel: http://MobileChannel.TV    

Susy Botello on Twitter: http://twitter.com/susybotello    

SBP Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ISEF0SZOLyRpw20loXzlo#upsell      

Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/sbp-podcast-mobile-filmmaking-928180     

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mobilfilmfestival?sub_confirmation=1    

© Copyright 2020 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.

Play this podcast on Podbean App