“This film happened out of necessity.” – Matthew A. Cherry
Despite having been online for only several hours after the launch, the upcoming film 9 Rides has been funded over 55% on Kickstarter. “It’s been so crazy already, and we still have 19 more days to go!” says director Matthew Cherry during a phone interview. The plot is a clever twist on an all too familiar scenario - an Uber driver trying to make some money on one of the busiest days of the year, New Year’s Eve, only in this case, the driver is on a downward spiral to rock bottom. He finds out some devastating news that turns his life upside down, and over the course of nine Uber rides all around the city, with nine different groups of people giving advice and what most would call “therapy sessions,” he slowly, but surely, begins to cope and conquer his fears.
Inspired by several films, such as Locke and I Will Follow, the entire movie takes place inside of the Uber driver’s car, creating the perfect narrative to tell the story. When it came to gear, Cherry used a surprisingly simple set up. Combining his love for new technology and the shoestring budget he had for the movie, he decided to take advantage of the 4K capabilities on the iPhone 6S, paired with the powerful filmmaking app FiLMiC Pro, the Beastgrip Pro and DOF Adapter, and the Moondog Labs Anamorphic lens, elaborating “I really wanted to be the first filmmaker to shoot with the 4K capability on the iPhone 6S.” The end result is a “classic” cinematic feel and a striking quality you wouldn’t expect could come from an iPhone camera rig.
While the gear set up may have been simple, the film didn’t come so easy. Prior to filming 9 Rides, the cast and crew, including Cherry, were set to shoot another movie. Soon after everything was set in motion, one of the most important crew members left unexpectedly, leaving the project leaderless. Knowing that it was a make or break situation, Cherry decided to take matters into his own hands and use the crew set in place to shoot another film idea he had instead, explaining “I got the idea from an Uber ride I was in, where the driver was spilling out his guts to me.” A few jam-packed days of writing later, and the write up for 9 Rides was born. “The movie was shot with a lot of improvisation… we wanted to keep things interesting and natural.”
The Kickstarter campaign for 9 Rides will be online for the next 19 days – you can back the project here. With over half of their funding goal already conquered, they're in a great place to be, but they still need your help to bring this project to life in time for their debut at SXSW. The perks of backing the campaign, offered by Cherry and the crew, are captivating, including some of the same gear they used to create the film, a “Digital Producer” next to your name in the credits, and an Uber Pool ride with one of the cast members, to name a few. “We really wanted to get the fans involved with the movie and not only have a chance to inspire them to shoot one themselves [by offering several key pieces of gear he used to shoot the film], but to give them a chance to be an actual ‘Digital Producer’ for the film.” Check it out at the SXSW Film Festival on March 11th, in Austin TX and support your fellow phoneographers!Soon, we’ll post the full interview with the expert behind this film, Matthew A. Cherry, sharing his thoughts on filmmaking, working with a simple setup, and his advice to new filmmakers.