The award winning Chicago film studio Ave Fenix Pictures is the first to use the iphone 7 to shoot many parts of their new movie Black Ruby while utilizing the FilMiC Pro app. We’re proud also to announce the film also has a stellar soundtrack courtesy of Robert Oberg and the UK home grown talent Liam Williams along with his Oddfellows crew!
The movie follows two hustlers and jazz musicians (Jules and Louis) struggling to create a hit song when a young seductive black Latina escort manipulates her way into their lives, disturbing their bond and causing Louis to street fight Jules’ debts away.
The first iphone 7 movie looks classic, a seventies emotion portraying vintage aptitudes that racial lines and musical soundtrack propel the story to a four star art house picture. One would expect a crisp and fresh HD tone to the film, but amazingly the iphone 7 can transform into film-grit that looks aged, releasing a classical maturity to the picture. I asked Los Angeles movie producer and actor Marius Iliescu why did he take the artistic danger, “In the independent filmmaking world the key for survival is creativity and flexibility. We have to choose our productions carefully and balance artistic and commercial potential wisely. With three feature films completed and three more on the way I have nothing to be worried about; just excited about where Ave Fenix Pictures will be at the end of 2018 and beyond.”
Black Ruby is studio owner Monica Esmeralda Leon’s third film and yet again she’s reinventing the way movies are made. Her first film Adios Vaya Con Dios was the first movie to be created by a Chicago neighborhood and Arise from Darkness released in January was the first film to use electronic voice phenomenon from exorcisms recorded by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. I inquired what was it like being the first movie studio to use the iphone 7, “In the beginning it was tricky and it’s very light so at times you feel like you’re moving too fast, but once you get the hang of it the iphone becomes one with your hands. — We’re not a Hollywood studio, but we’ve been around Hollywood movies where we competed with them. We understand the disadvantage of finances and understand advantage of imagination – our creativity is something money can’t buy.”
Lead actors Joseph Mennella (Jules) and Zachary Laoutides (Louis) show talent in this actors piece that is dark, violent and at times funny. The Huffington Post crediting both actors to a Brando and Montgomery Clift performance fall for Ruby (played by newcomer Krystal E. Heredia) and transform into their roles. I was curious if they were skeptical or nervous about the iphone 7 capturing them in a motion picture… Joseph Mennella explained, “We used the iphone 7 which I was initially skeptical about, but proven wrong — and we could’ve taken the easy way. My belief is that without artistic risk there is no artistic reward. Mainstream Hollywood is a tough market, but independent cinema has become more of a staple in Hollywood. Ave Fenix Pictures is a studio that subscribes to the idea of telling powerful thought-provoking stories regardless of genre.”
Screenplay writer and actor Zachary Laoutides goes from his last two films as Hispanic transformed into a blue-eyed rebel without a cause. I wanted to understand with all the effort he put into his role did the iphone 7 capture his transformation and give the performance the justice it deserved, “I was honestly impressed and I said to myself why aren’t other people using this – but a camera isn’t going to make your performance stand out — it’s the organics of your cast not the technology. Joseph and I were challenged by the silent performance of Krystal E. Heredia, it’s almost awkward because the truth is the characters couldn’t be more different and complex. Carmen Santiago, it was her debut and she played her role exceptional, Ric Morgan couldn’t be more spot on as Solomon, Marius Iliescu nailed it as the pimp — I know I’m doing a lot of name-dropping, but it was good casting and it brought out the best in all of us.”
How about Ave Fenix Pictures actually becoming more Hollywood or becoming a subdivision of a major motion picture studio… Marius Iliesu who is already positioning Ave Fenix Pictures in Los Angles has a vision, “In the film world all the roads lead to Los Angeles — here is the Mecca of filmmaking; everything we need to develop is here. Chicago still is an important beginning but changing gears to a different level of filmmaking implies playing the game where the game is played. If we made a feature with an iphone 7 that means we can make a film anywhere.”
You can follow Black Ruby at www.facebook.com/BlackRubyMovie