Moondog Labs, a Fairport-based company founded in 2014, has been an industry leader in smartphone optics.
And now the company’s special lenses for iPhones have been used to make a feature length film coming to Netflix, all shot on an iPhone and directed by Steven Soderbergh — who directed Magic Mike and Ocean’s 11.
Lights, camera, action is now as easy as typing in your phone’s pass code and opening up photos.
“Anyone that has a smart phone at all — and every day we hear from creatives around the world who are making some pretty original content,” said Scott Cahall.
Scott Cahall, a former Kodak employee, started Moondog Labs in 2014 from a KickStarter campaign. His company’s anamorphic lenses attach to smartphones and can turn anyone into Spielberg — if you have talent and a few hundred dollars.
“It puts the actors at ease, it’s not a large rig and you can get some shots and in some spaces you’d be hard-pressed to get otherwise,” he explains.
It’s even gotten the attention of major directors like Steven Soderbergh — who used one of Moondog’s lenses to shoot “High Flying Bird” — a full-length movie debuting on Netflix.
Cahall says the beauty of his lenses though are that they’re not just for Hollywood.
“I think it really democratizes film making so there aren’t the limits there used to be, so now with the phone in your pocket and a couple hundred dollar lens, you can do some things that were unheard of just a few years ago,” said Cahill.
Cahall and others at Moondog hope that such a high-profile project can grow their company and help inspire creators.
“The exciting part of what Steven Soderberg is doing with ‘High Flying Bird’ is he’s making iPhone film making more accepted across the board,” adds Shawn Connelly, chief branding officer.
The film, “High Flying Bird,” will debut streaming on Netflix on February 8.