Raya Films releases their first trailer for smartphone shot movie. No ordinary vigilante… Cyberlante follows the story of Matt, a young man with a dark past who moves to a new town to work in an isolated hotel run by an unsympathetic bully who has deadly secrets of his own.
UK producers Raya Films have released a first look at cybercrime thriller, Cyberlante, a production born from the aborted chaos of a previous shoot, and shot entirely on a Smartphone.
On 15 February 2019, principal photography for the third feature film by Raya Films got underway. On day three, after two key crew members quit the set, director James Smith was left with no camera gear and no camera department. The schedule was now impossible to meet, and the shoot was postponed. Less than 24 hours later, a new outline treatment was created for another version of the movie based on the availability of the remaining cast and locations, not to mention some new recruits. A little over a week later, photography commenced with a very different Cyberlante theme.
Fast-forward to 21 March 2019. After shooting in locations that ranged from freezing, waterlogged fields to luxurious properties, and following events that encompassed scripting on the fly, casting actors in less than a day, and an armed robbery at one of the locations, Smith and team finally wrapped on a production that utilised the latest mobile phone technology, and sees the emergence of some exciting new acting talent. “This was seat-of-your-pants indie filmmaking at its most nerve-racking,” explains producer/screenwriter Caroline Spence, “but it was either waste months of hard work and end up with no film, or get cracking and see how we can turn this to our advantage. “We had to swiftly re-cast for two roles and source different locations. But we are of the firm belief that some things happen for a reason.
Firstly, we came up with a more slimlined and edgier plot. Secondly, we were able to recruit up-and-coming actor Gavin Gordon who approached us at just the right time.” The director describes Gavin Gordon as “a hugely talented actor and physically gifted. He’s an athlete, can scale objects with ease and can seriously run.” Smartphone Filmmaking What’s more, in the 24 hours it took to come up with a new plan and story, Smith also researched the feasibility of utilizing the latest Smartphone technology. This is not as crazy as it sounds since Sean Baker made headlines with his Sundance headliner Tangerine, shot on an Apple iPhone 5S, and Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh experimented with Unsane starring Claire Foy, by utilising an iPhone 7 Plus.
These examples, however, are rare since most filmmakers opting to use mobile phone technology make short films, promos and web series… not full length features. This fact did not deter Smith and Spence, who sought the advice of pro Smartphone filmmaker Simon Horrocks and finally opted to invest in a Google Pixel Original with FilmicPro app. “It’s when these disasters happen that you realise who has the mettle and fortitude to stick it out to the end,” says director, James Smith. “When we were rolling on the second shoot, the team were working hard to help each other in every way possible. We all knew we were working on something special.”