Caroline Spence and James Smith are the brilliant filmmakers behind Raya Films, in the UK. They’ve been producing films and videos together since around 2004. And they’ve produced two feature length films using smartphone cameras. Most of the people I’ve spoken to have produced one feature film. There is one well-known filmmaker who’s produced two features using iPhones, In case you don’t know who that is: Steven Soderbergh.
Cyberlante and Surveilled were both filmed with Android smartphones. Surveilled, their latest, was entered into San Diego’s International Mobile Film Festival 2022, the 11th annual edition for only films shot with smartphones.
In this episode of our podcast, episode 104, we enjoy James and Caroline’s stories about the other part of the film industry many indie filmmakers don’t talk about much, publicly: Screening events for their films. Most filmmakers screen their films before they release them to screen in festivals. James and Caroline share some behind the scenes stories about some of their screening events in London.
You’ll also hear about indie film production, and why it doesn’t fit the traditional schedule considered standard business practice. For example, working 9 to 5 during weekdays. Filmmaking is tough work. It’s hard for people to understand why filmmakers do do it. Indie film attracts people who can get up at 4am, go on set, and work hard. And sometimes continue into the late night.
James and Caroline worked the 9-5 job at an office before they began their production company. They once tagged along with a television crew for a promotion corporate video, and that’s when they were “bitten by the bug.” They decided to start their production company. They’ve yet to change their minds. Caroline and James love what they do, and they are making great films together. They’ve accumulated a great network, and team to work with.
This episode is a thorough discussion on filmmaking from the perspective of what happens behind the scenes. We talk about events, having and not having an online presence as filmmakers, things to watch out for when approached by producers and investors, and a lot more! We also discuss cinematography and how smartphone cameras benefits the process and the final project.
We discuss how many more feature films are being made with smartphone cameras now. Even though the viewers don’t care what cameras are used to make films, I point out the connection between the films and their audience is the smartphone. It’s why I believe in pointing out the fact that a film was shot with the same camera they have in possession. It’s inspiring more people to make films, in general. And that is not a bad thing. James’ perspective is that we could never have too much music, for example, so there is no problem with having many films.
Even though they’ve made two features with their smartphone, they’re currently in pre-production for Casting Kill, a feature film which they plan to shoot in London. And of course, this is not the only film they are working on right now. There is another one in the plan which they plan to shoot in Spain.
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.