PhonY, the feature about the (ab-)use of cell phones, bears the unusual concept of being told in interweaving segments located in five countries.
The segments playing in Switzerland, Thailand and Canada were already filmed in spring 2018.
The segments in Los Angeles and Australia were scheduled for October 2018. But on September 6, a mere month before the filming had to start in Hollywood, PhonY’s lead actor, the five-time-world-star-number-one-screen-legend Burt Reynolds passed away.
This incident has left PhonY to only 60% filmed. However, as this production is uniquely filmed in segments, the existing footage represents completed segments, the difficult all-exterior segments.
The 40% remaining segments call for the well-known Hollywood names. Being mostly interior, these are easier and less risk-bound to achieve.
With Golden Globe-winner Elke Sommer’s commitment to participate last December, pre-production went underway for the Los Angeles-segment (one of the two remaining segments, roughly 20%) to be filmed April 14 - 24, 2020 in Thailand’s Phuket (doubling for California).
Though, as the current Corona-crisis has imposed severe restrictions, the April-filming was postponed to May 18 - 28, or as a second option, to June 9 - 19. These new arrangements prevent the production to lose substantial parts of its extensive preparations, along its commitments of cast and crew.
Now, the producers came up with a win-win situation within this momentary crisis: Why not add the star-laden Australian-segment (the other remaining segment of 20%) to the already scheduled one?
Given once the lockdown is lifted, filming in Hollywood will be accompanied with severe health-restrictions (see the article in ‘Deadline’). These are certainly exorbitant cost-factors.
Now, in contrast to the cumbersome set-up of ordinary film-productions, PhonY’s remaining segments are fairly limited in numbers of cast and crew. And as these segments are mostly interior, they might be filmed basically anywhere - anywhere to accommodate the respective local law. And anywhere to accommodate A-listers and top crew.
Thus with the existing schedule of the Los Angeles-segment, the Australian-segment might be added fairly easy. Be it in Phuket – or anywhere else.
Then after a relative short post-production, the film is ready to premiere autumn 2020/winter 2021 - be it the classic way at a festival and cinemas, or through streaming services.
Seizing this extraordinary opportunity is the dictate of the current situation!
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'PARASITE' bears some striking similarities with 'PhonY'