The story of the making of Olive, the first full length feature film shot entirely on a cell phone, came to me back in December of 2009. If truth be told my goal was not only to be groundbreaking with a traditional medium, but more than anything I wanted to make a heartwarming film that was hugely relatable. It's a wonderful thing to be ahead of the curve in terms of technology but both me and my co-director, Pat Gilles, knew that it doesn't matter how technical or sophisticated the technology is: If we aren't creating a great story, we'd lose our audience.
Two years later the idea is now a reality and we find ourselves knocking at the doorstep of the Academy.
Olive is the only film qualified for the academy awards this year in a field of well over 100 films that doesn't have a studio supporting it; it doesn't have a distributor, and it was overseen by two first-time directors. Our film stars two-time Academy Award nominated actress Gena Rowlands. Simply put Olive is a film about a little girl who goes into the lives of three people and transforms them without speaking one word. The MPAA gave Olive a PG rating!
Believe it or not Olive has one more surprise: I'm hoping that the title song from Olive, "Imaginary Friends," written and performed by Ben Lear -- son of Norman Lear --, is nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Song category. "Imaginary Friends" is on the short list among 39 songs qualified this year.
So all I ask is this.
Take a listen and if you like what you hear help out the little guy -- pass it onto your influential friends.
And more about Ben Lear here.