. Space Industry and Business News .

US director makes first smartphone movie
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (AFP) Dec 9, 2011

An independent US filmmaker has made what is believed to be the first feature-length movie shot with a smartphone, to be released next week -- with actress Gena Rowlands in the starring role.

"Olive," about "a little girl who transforms the lives of three people without speaking one word," was filmed using only a Nokia N8 cellphone, with a high-resolution camera adapted with a 35 mm lens to give added depth of field.

"Technology is moving so quickly and cellphones are really going to be the thing that does everything eventually," director Hooman Khalili told AFP in an interview ahead of the US theater release of his movie on December 16.

"They already do so much, and in January 2010 I came up with this idea and I saw there was nothing out there that existed," added the 37-year-old, who began pre-production of the movie last year.

The first five minutes of "Olive," viewable at www.olivethemovie.com, have already set tongues wagging in Hollywood, where the movie industry is gearing up for its annual awards season.

Set for release in Los Angeles next week, the movie is eligible to be nominated for the Oscars in February.

In pictures posted on the Flickr photo-sharing website, the filmmaker, who also hosts a radio show in San Francisco, holds a cellphone taped to the 35 mm lens and mounted on a tripod, with a viewfinder sticking out one side.

"This is groundbreaking technology. You know someone is gonna be first, and there's something special about being first. And yeah, our lens might be big and clunky, but this is how first generations of new technology are.

"And the second and the third generation become slicker and better," he said.

The movie cost less than $500,000 -- a fraction of a typical Hollywood budget -- and is financed by Chris Kelly, an executive with social network giant Facebook, and William O'Keeffe, a San Francisco-based philanthropist.

Strangely, Finnish cellphone giant Nokia has had no particular input into the film. "They sent me a phone," said Khalili, adding: "After March of 2011 I never heard from Nokia again, they disappeared."

Technology aside, the film boasts the involvement of the two-time Oscar-nominated 81-year-old actress Rowlands.

"We sent her the script, and she said to me: 'I read six scripts a week and I maybe do one movie a year. This script is so good, (but) I need you to convince me to do this movie," Khalili said.

"So I sat there, and for an hour and a half I poured my heart out to her. She did it, not for the money. She (is) an independent spirit, and she liked the fact that it was the first cellphone movie," he added.

Khalili said the inspiration for the movie's story came from "The Triplets of Belleville," a 2003 animated film in which no one speaks but "everything is conveyed perfectly."

"We knew that it doesn't matter how amazing the technology is. If the story isn't good, nobody is going to watch it," said Khalili, who worked with co-director Patrick Gilles.

"I thought, how great would it be to have a central character that doesn't speak but you understand everything she is trying to communicate," said the filmmaker.

That inspired the story of a 10-year-old girl who "transforms" the lives of three characters: an old, bitter woman -- played by Rowlands -- an obese man and a foreigner adjusting to life in the United States.

"Every single one of us at one time of our lives is down in a ditch... The way you get out of that ditch is by having someone reach you with their hand and pull you out," said Khalili.

The film will be screened from next Friday, for a week, at the Laemmle's Fallbrook 7 movie theater in West Hills, northwest of Los Angeles.

Khalili said they are hoping to raise the $300,000 needed -- via the micro-financing website Kickstarter -- to show the film on 100 screens before Christmas.

So far they have $30,000, but they hope publicity will help generate the extra income.

"We need a little bit of a miracle," Khalili said.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Google unveils magazine reading application
San Francisco (AFP) Dec 8, 2011 - Google on Thursday released a magazine reading application for smartphones or tablet computers powered by Android or Apple software.

The California Internet titan worked with more than 150 publishing partners for the US launch of "Google Currents," which is also integrated with the Google+ online social network challenging Facebook.

"Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you're offline," product manager Mussie Shore and technical lead Sami Shalabi said in a blog post.

People were invited to download the application and subscribe for free to publications which include Forbes, The Atlantic, ABC News, The Guardian, and Al-Jazeera English.

"Great content needs a great audience, which is why Google Currents is integrated with Google+ so users can share articles or videos they've enjoyed with their circles," Shore and Shalabi wrote.

The Flipboard-style magazine application was released the same day that Google meshed its popular free Gmail service with its nascent social network.

"We want to bring you a great experience across all Google products which, for Gmail and Contacts, means understanding what you care about and delivering it instantly," engineering director Mark Striebeck said in a blog post.

"If you use Google+, you can now grow your circles, filter emails and contacts by circles, keep all your contact information up-to-date automatically and share photos to Google+, all right from Gmail and Contacts," he said.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Australia lifts Samsung ban in defeat for Apple
Sydney (AFP) Dec 9, 2011
The High Court on Friday cleared the way for Samsung to sell its Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Australia in time for Christmas, dismissing iPad manufacturer Apple's bid to have a ban extended. South Korea's Samsung late last month won an appeal against a temporary ban on sales of the Galaxy device in Australia, a rare victory for the company in its legal tussle with its US rival over copyright. ... read more

Researchers find best routes to self-assembling 3D shapes

Avatars develop real world skills

Tablets, e=readers closing book on ink-and-paper era

Australia lifts Samsung ban in defeat for Apple

Astrium achieves Initial System Acceptance on Yahsat programme

Northrop Grumman Awarded Microscale Power Conversion Contract

Raytheon First to Successfully Test With On-Orbit AEHF Satellite

Lockheed Martin AMF JTRS Team Demonstrates Communications and Tactical Data Sharing At Army Exercise

Fregat upper stage and Pleiades 1 ready for next Soyuz Kourou launch

Europe's third ATV is loaded with cargo for its 2012 launch by Arianespace

Assembly milestone reached with Ariane 5 to launch next ATV

Russia launches Chinese satellite

China launches 10th satellite for independent navigation system

Authorities Gauge Impact of Europe's Galileo Navigation Satellite System

Russia's Glonass-M satellite put into orbit

ITT Exelis and Chronos develop offerings for the Interference, Detection and Mitigation market

AirAsia boss bullish on growth, eyes China, India

Airbus eyes Japan's budget carriers

American Airlines slams 'rude' actor in plane row

Fitch downgrades Italian defence giant Finmeccanica

Researchers develop one of the smallest electronic circuits ever built

Swiss scientists prove durability of quantum network

New '3-D' transistors promising future chips, lighter laptops

Samsung to build flash memory chip line in China

NASA Satellite Confirms Sharp Decline in Pollution from US Coal Power Plants

China launches remote-sensing satellite Yaogan XIII

Texas Drought Visible in New National Groundwater Maps

APL Proposes First Global Orbital Observation Program

Many chemicals unproven to raise breast cancer risk

Chinese go online to vent anger over pollution

Smog sparks debate over Beijing air standards

No breath of relief for kids in dirty Czech steel hub


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement