Closer Look: Shot On Cellphone, ‘Olive’ Poised To Change Film Industry

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An image from the film Olive (Olivethemovie.com)

An image from the film Olive (Olivethemovie.com)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – A newly released independent movie is making headlines and the buzz is not due to star power or studio cash.

Olive” is being billed as ‘the story of a young girl who changes lives.’ This movie may also be a big change for the entertainment industry because every frame was shot on a cellphone video camera.

Olive is the brain child of CBS Radio staffer Hooman Khalili. Khalili told CBS 5 he got the idea for the movie only two years ago but making even the first frame happen was no easy task.

Khalili and Co-Director Pat Gillis had to hack into the Nokia N-8 phone to disable the auto-focus function. They also had to dismantle a traditional movie camera lens and then attach the Nokia phone to the lens.

“Many analysts say that in two or three years from now every cell phone is going to be able to shoot a film,” said Khalili. “So people that look at this project and say ‘wow, nice gimmick,’ they are not understanding what we are trying to do.”

The project was not with out its ‘low tech’ moments however. The crew attached the camera to the lens with doubled sided tape. To get aerial shots, the film crew mounted the Nokia Phone to a remote controlled toy helicopter.

There are two big names in the tech field that have thrown support behind this movie.

Chris Kelly, a former Facebook Executive, is financing the $500,000film. Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, has a small role in the film.

Khalili hired two-time Oscar Nominee Gena Rowlands to be in the film, giving the project a star.

But Khalili, Kelly and Zuckerberg all say the star is really the technology being used here, and the technology is not a gimmick.

“It is very powerful statement…you can make this classically beautiful movie with something that you can hold in the palm of your hand,” said Chris Kelly. “There is the democratizing effect of technology and that was one of the things that I find very attractive about the film as a whole.”

“Olive” is being shown this week at a theater in Los Angeles.

DVD copies are being sent to Motion Picture Academy Members in hopes the film will get nominated for at least one Oscar.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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