Barry Levison Explores iPhone Filmmaking for “The Bay”

Small cameras are everywhere so if you want to add a touch of documentary realism to a horror story, then the why not use them as part of your visual story telling. Academy Award winning Director Barry Levinson takes on the “found footage” genre in the “Bay” utilizing consumer grade cameras and handing them out to actors and extras.

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Oscar winner Barry Levinson has made hit films spanning many decades, from Diner to Rain Man. But his latest, The Bay, a faux documentary cum eco-horror movie about flesh-eating isopods in the Chesapeake Bay, is a stylistic departure in which the 70-year-old director used more than 20 consumer-grade cameras to create “found” footage from iPhones, Androids, 911 calls, webcams and more to piece together the fictional story of a nightmarish 24 hours in the otherwise quaint seaside town of Claridge, Maryland.

“You’re working with a different set of tools than you normally work with,” Levinson said recently in an interview at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. “It’s not this one big camera that’s the center of the universe, so it’s a different way to approach it.”

Levinson didn’t sit behind a chair directing every shot; instead he distributed cameras to extras and often had the actors filming themselves, which created a series of unexpected challenges.

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