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  • Big Bang Christmas 2015:  A first outline of the future named ‘PhonY’ was created by writer/producer/director Roger Steinmann.


  • As early as January 2016, Steinmann sought the interest of his friend, Hollywood-actress Barbara Carrera, for one of the lead roles.  The twice Golden Globe nominee had previously starred in his Hollywood-film “Illusion Infinity”.  
    An agreement was finalized in the course of 2016 (> LOI and >agreement).


  • As her acting-partner, Swiss character actor Pascal Ulli was committed as well early on 
    (> agreement).


  • Steinmann’s longtime film-partner Markus Imthurn came on board as general consultant and production designer.


  • February 2016:  At the Berlin film-market, interests from the industry originated for the top-accurate theme dealt with through a farce-comedy.


  • April 2016:  The making-of-site went online.
    Currently, the site experiences 255’000+ hits.


  • At the Cannes film-market of May 2016, a primary demo-reel was presented.  The fictional footage, shot in the Swiss mountains with Matthias Schuppli as a possible Sir TT, was mixed up with real people acting at their phones at locations such as Berlin, Hong Kong, Davos, Bangkok and Cambodia’s Ankor Wat. 
    Steinmann went on to cover a total of 26 world destinations allowing the fictional scenes become contemporary real.


  • In August 2016, a distribution guarantee for the German speaking territories of Germany, Austria and Switzerland materialized with the longest-running Swiss distributor Stammfilm AG (>confirmation).


  • In 2016/17, different locations for the Asian-segment were evaluated: Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.


  • In May 2017, US-casting director Gerald I. Wolff was assigned to cast at least one big name in 'PhonY'.  Mr. Wolff’s association with producer Steinmann goes back a long way by successfully casting ‘Illusion Infinity’ with no less than seven award winning name actors.  


  • August 2017: Myanmar producer Swe Zin Htaik and her Yangoon Film House Ltd. proposed a co-production-deal under the condition to film a good part in Myanmar, with November a possible date (>draft of co-production agreement).


  • September 2017:  The initial funds by Steinmann’s production company Sunset International AG were augmented by various backers.  
    As the requirements of the plot required snow-covered mountains for the Canadian-segment, stormy winter weather for Zurich, and hot-dry climate in South-East Asia, the principal photography at these three locations had to be executed between November and April – thus the go ahead for pre-production was given to shoot winter/spring 2017/2018.


  • October 2017:  The Myanmar-co-production deal fell apart due to their inability to raise the proposed cash in time.  And as well, this country proofed eventually unstable with its wide spread corruption and little film knowledge.


  • Subsequently, Thailand’s Phuket was chosen instead.   Bangkok-based line producer Tom Waller and casting director Sirikhuan Wanmuntrie were hired.


  • November 2017:  Casting director Wolff was in the meantime able to secure Burt Reynolds, five times number one box office world-star, and Talia Shire, twice Academy Award-nominated  as the lead roles in the Australian segment (>negotiations with their managers (emails).
    With both Mr. Reynolds’ and Ms. Shire’s enthusiasm over their respective roles within an unusual film, they lowered their honorary substantially.  In his lengthy skype call with Steinmann, Mr. Reynolds praise were as high as seeing “a potential Oscar-nomination” for his role along looking forward to the “Cannes-premiere what marks his very first ever”. 


  • January 28, 2018: Principle photography commenced for two days in the Swiss mountains, doubling the Canadian Calgary.  Character actor Gilles Tschudi was cast as the cross-country skiing billionaire Sir TT (>actor’s contract).


  • January 31, 2018:  Filming ensued in Zurich for two days exterior and two days interior with Pascal Ulli in the role of sloppy Oskar Dummermuth (>actor’s contract).

  • February 2018:  The Los Angeles-shoot with Burt Reynolds, Talia Shire and Barbara Carrera was at first scheduled for April (>shooting schedule).


  • March 11 to 15, 2018:  In Phuket, the principal photography took place.  As the Thai-segment was all-exterior, complications arouse.  The shooting had to be halted, then resumed again April 1 to 4, totaling to nine extensive days. 


  • April 2018:  Due to the prolonged Thai-shoot, the Los-Angeles one had to be moved to June, then was eventually set for October 15 to 19 - Reynolds’ availability immediately after finishing his role in Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’.  


  • May 2018:  For the Cannes-market, a teaser was edited from the yet 60% shot footage (and upgraded in May 2019 with an introduction-interview of Steinmann).  


  • Summer 2018:  The pre-production of the remaining 40% was in full swing under the supervision of Los Angeles-line producer Ed Polgardy.  Next to Reynolds’ and Shire’s Australian segment, there was the US-segment with Barbara Carrera and Pascal Ulli scheduled; the entire Los Angeles-shot was to last twelve days.


  • September 6, 2018: A mere five weeks before filming, Burt Reynolds died.  
    This was just a week before the acting contracts were to be signed between Steinmann and Reynolds and Shire, respectively.


  • September 2018: In order to maintain the October-schedule, a frantic search for Reynold’s replacement ensued.  On the grounds of Reynolds’ very favorable honorary, a replacement within this league, high in value but low in cost, was not quickly to be found – the October-shoot had to be cancelled.


  • Winter 2018/19:  Casting director Wolff was able to catch the interest of a bunch of A-list stars for the vacant Reynolds-role.  They all deemed intrigued about the role as phone-addicted sexting ex-astronaut in the challenging ‘Pulp Fiction as farce-comedy’.
    And for the role of Hollywood-Star Angelina Ashley, some A-list actresses’ interests surfaced  (>cast list).  


  • Early 2019:  The raw-edit of the 60% shot footage was assembled to 85-minutes.


  • Due to the hiatus but as well the interested A-listers, the budget has increased.  The producer went into high gear to search for new backers.  In the course of marketing, the homepage was revamped, the teaser upgraded, and the making-of footage edited. As well, author Steinmann went on to tailor the script to possible new actors - it's currently at its 10th draft.


  • As of November 22, 2019:  Half of the budget has been raised. 
    (>budget; >financing plan; >accounting).


Outlook, from December 2019

  • As soon as a minimum of USD 300’000 are raised, casting and pre-production for the remaining 40% can be organized.  As all name-actors are on a pay-or-play condition, a substantial advance has to be paid in accordance of the firm shooting date.

  • Casting ensues, thus 'PhonY' may be featuring up to four well-recognized names.

  • With the commitment of at least one A-lister at hand, the producer will be able to raise the last batch within a short time due his wide-spread network. 

  • A window of at least six weeks is needed for proper preparation of the total eleven-day, mostly interior-principal photography, remaining 40%.  The location may be either Los Angeles, but can be anywhere else to accommodate a star’s desired location.

  • Two pick-up days needed in Switzerland, and one in Thailand.


  • The public awareness of 'PhonY' will be constantly widened.  With the making-of-site, alive since the time of the first draft of the script, with currently 255k+ viewings, the marketing as important part of show-business was prioritized early on – a public transparency most unusual for a low-budget production. Producer/writer/director Steinmann has shown during his entire career his good ties to the press; see his several interviews in national TV as a teenager.  
    An EPK will be carefully executed, including the already existing making-of footage from Thailand and Switzerland.


  • Once filming the remains, the post-production jumps into high-gear.  The already executed raw-cut of the 60% film will be completed with the new footage.  Further works, such as the creation of the vfx-effects, the composing of the music, the correction of the image and colors, the looping of dialogue, and mixing of the sound will require three to four months.


  • A to be appointed world sales-company will estimate PhonY’s sale-figures and advise early on for its optimal marketing.  Sales will be initiated, bids evaluated.  


  • The outlook of the finished film will be, in general, either an exclusive, outright sale to one of the lately aggressively bidding streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, or then may go the classic way of film-distribution, through festivals, theatrical-release next to ancillary medias such as VOD, DVD, TV, and others - this route is more marketing intensive though by far more profit-oriented.  


  • In case of the ‘classic’ way, without an exclusive one-time sale, the world sales-agent will put up estimates for each territory and medium.   
    For the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria, and the main part of Switzerland, the reliable Swiss distributor Stammfilm AG guarantees a minimum for a theatrical release - though the production is not bound in case there will be a higher bid.


  • Depending on the shooting date, 'PhonY' could premiere in February 2020 at the prestigious Berlinale and one of the top three film festivals.  Its new director Carlo Chatrian, knowing Steinmann from his former post at the Locarno Film Festival, got already intrigued due to PhonY’s ingenious style by a “new Tarantino and Kubrick”. 
    And Berlin is an important selling market, with free publicity when shown at the festival.


  • Other occasions to premiere in 2020 are Cannes in May, Locarno and Venice in August, Toronto in September, or Zurich in October (with interest already generated in Locarno and Zurich).  


  • In the case of a later premiere, for the 2020-markets such as Berlin and Cannes, a trailer and promotional material will be presented.


  • At AFM in November 2020, the remaining territories will be covered.

MAKING-OF-PhonY, the Swiss & Canadian segment



SUNSET International AG
Winterthurerstrasse 629,
CH-8051 Zurich / Switzerland




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