Setting a New Bar in Cost Effective Filmmaking at Cannes 2014: Grace McPhillips’ Films The Other One and Eclipse

Unveiled at Sundance, “Concept to Completion in Ten Months” To Be Presented at Cannes at the Hewlett-Packard Studio

May 13, 2014 - CHICAGO - At last year’s Sundance film fest, actress/producer Grace McPhillips was electrified by a new tool that could make filmmaking faster than ever, and just one year later she was back at Sundance to present with Hewlett-Packard on the completed feature film The Other One. “Concept to Completion in Ten Months: The Future of Indie Filmmaking” is again being presented twice at the Cannes Film Festival, and shows off the innovations in technology, creative collaboration, and crowd funding that McPhillips’ company Sterling Rock Productions used to pull off this feat.

The HP Z820 RED Edition Workstation was the catalyst for McPhillips’ epiphany. “The greatest challenge to emerging filmmakers is funding, and time is money,” declares McPhillips. “Because of our partnership with HP, this computer allowed us to shoot for 13 days and walk away with a rough cut of the entire movie, plus a teaser trailer to take to Cannes 2013 a week later.”

After her discovery of the innovative new workstation, McPhillips returned to Chicago and wrangled director Josef Steiff and an experienced production team. They began collaboratively creating a screenplay and funding plan that could fulfill the promise of a finished feature in under a year. “We broke a lot of old rules making The Other One and its prequel Eclipse, but thankfully our partners at HP and our 276 funders supported us the whole way.”

Making its world premiere at Cannes in the Short Film Corner is the prequel Eclipse, produced simultaneously with the feature- effectively generating two films, each with their own purpose and distribution model, from one production schedule and budget.

Working with high-resolution cameras, like the RED, is a blessing and a curse. Shooting schedules are getting tighter, budgets are shrinking, and new cameras are smaller and better than ever, but the digital files are getting so big they drag most computers down. McPhillips points out that “for each day of production, the Z820 RED Edition Workstation eliminated hours of work and weeks of waiting, and was invaluable to meeting our aggressive deadlines.”

In “Concept to Completion in Ten Months: The Future of Indie Filmmaking,” McPhillips lays out all the tips and tricks used to produce these films with micro-budgets and uncommonly tight deadlines. The event will take place at the HP Studio at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes, on Thursday May 15th and Saturday May 17th at 3:30pm. Admission to the workshop is complimentary to accredited festival attendees.


Elizabeth Theiss


ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Grace McPhillips founded SRP because the movies she wanted to see were not being made.  She has served on the Boards of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild Midwest and the Illinois Production Alliance (which lobbies for tax incentives in the film industry), where she spearheaded an initiative to bring the production of major motion pictures and television shows to Chicago. She also founded the 501c3 Chicago Acting in Film Meetup, a professional support group of over 150 screen actors.