Blue Moon Smartphone Feature Filmmaking in New Zealand

Susan Botello
Apr 3 · 3 min read

He shot a photo of a gas station with his iPhone and wrote a treatment. He sent them to an old friend, who was a professional actor. That is the beginning of the backstory to Blue Moon, a feature film shot with an iPhone 7 in New Zealand. The director, Stef Harris is our guest on the SBP Podcast episode 54.

Writer and Director Stef Harris

Listen to Episode 54 anywhere, any way at any time.

Stef Harris is the writer and director of the, roughly 85 minute film shot with his iPhone. The film’s principal actors are Jed Brophy and Mark Hadlow. The Director of Photography, Ryan O’Rourke, had to shoot the film with the iPhone and had to deal with long takes and a single location.

Mark Hadlow and Jed Brophy on set of Blue Moon.

The story behind the story of the characters is connected to the backstory of how the film evolved. Stef Harris is a police officer in New Zealand and took a picture of a lit up lone gas station using his smartphone. A picture of a thousand words is the saying. But literally, it turned into a screenplay filled with dialogue between two protagonists in a story: Horace Jones and Darren Cates.

“Dead Man” on location of Blue Moon with gas station in background.

Listen to Stef Harris explain how the town came together to help him complete his film. A very inspiring story which may lead to inspiring you to make films using your own smartphone. Because no matter where you are, who you are…with a good story and the willingness to reach out, you can be a filmmaker.

Film Credits: Rueben — Doug Brooks, Gina — Liz Mullane, Security Guard — Nathan Green, Police Officer — Mathew Crawford, Police Officer — Nicole Gardiner, Newsagent — Kyle Abbott, Police Officer — Jeshurun Scheib, Police Sergeant — Robert Ballantyne, Veronica Jones — Alison Lenton, Wahoe Chan — Lai Zhouwen, Gilly — Doug Brooks, Motorist — Simon Paynter, Geoffrey the cat.

Directed by Stefen Harris

Written by Stefen Harris

Director of Photography Ryan O’Rourke

Editor Judd Resnick

Sound Design Chris Winter

Composer Tane Upjohn Beatson

Sound Ben Dunker and Janja Heathfield

Production companies Dark Horse Films — Kahu Media

Producers Stefen Harris and Pegeen O’Rourke

Executive Producer Tim Riley and Rich Vizor

SBP Podcast: The Voice of Mobile Film™ is for everyone who ever wanted to or is curious about making movies and videos using smartphones.

Watch the trailer for Blue Moon:

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Website for Dark Horse Films:

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International Mobile Film Festival Website:



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© Copyright 2019 S. Botello Productions™. All rights reserved.


Storytelling through film and video with your smartphone.

Susan Botello

Written by

Official International Mobile Film Festival founder. CEO S. Botello Productions. @susybotello Smartphones. Storytelling.


Storytelling through film and video with your smartphone.

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