Steven Soderbergh is Back with the Trailer for the iPhone-Shot 'High Flying Bird'

Excuse us, but will this movie be a slam dunk?

As we're currently in the midst of professional basketball season, leave it to filmmaker Steven Soderbergh to release a drama about the sport while it's undergoing a lockout. 

Starring André Holland as a sports agent who's attempting to get a would-be professional basketball player to do...something, High Flying Bird looks like a cross between a late Soderbergh digital joint and No Film School's own Ryan Koo's Amateur (which also premiered as a Netflix Original last year and for which we did an extensive 10 part podcast series documenting its production here). Basketball brings out the best in its players and the worst in the "moneymakers" who surround them, and profit rules all. 

FS1 Undisputed loudmouth sports commentator Skip Bayless makes a cameo appearance, as does TMZ Sports and a host of other real-life sports talk channels that specialize in hyperbole and outrage. Basketball is, first and foremost, a business, and going by this trailer, it appears to be on the brink of something lucrative. 

Written by Moonlight screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney, the film will be having its World Premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City Utah on January 27th, before debuting on Netflix a few weeks later on February 8th, 2019.

Will you be seeing High Flying Bird? Let us know in the comments below.,      

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Your Comment


Shot on iPhone 7

January 17, 2019 at 5:15PM



January 17, 2019 at 6:30PM

Sean Loftin

Yes. I try to watch as many Soderbergh movies as I can. I have even seen "Bubble." I even saw the rough cut of "Bubble," that like this movie was done a few hours after the end of principal photography.

January 18, 2019 at 10:28AM

Kevin Wines

I'm still not sold on shooting feature films on phones. Yeah the image is nice but you're stuck with a suuuuuper wide angle and a huge DOF on every single shot. It's a big limitation to work around and a lot of shots in this trailer just look off, especially the close-ups.

DSLRs and DOF adapters were a big deal for indies because you finally got a big choice of lenses on a consumer camera. This feels like a step backwards from that.

January 19, 2019 at 7:37PM


You can just stick a BeastGrip and adapter on your iPhone and use the same DSLRs and DOF lenses, even retro ones.

January 23, 2019 at 5:18AM

Jeff Rivera
Writer | Producer

I know everyone will hate ...but come on ... the video is good, edit, sound ... if the story holds up ... this will be good ... even if it's on an iPhone ... Honestly (my opinion) ... shallow DOF is way overused ... yes there are times...revels .. extreme close ups and the like .... but you see with the world in focus ... well until you get older anyway! lol

January 20, 2019 at 2:59PM


Wow.... this looks like a huge visual step forward from Unsane. The cinematography is actually kinda beautiful.

Soderbergh is one of the most intriguing filmmakers of his age. How many guys in the industry are this willing to throw convention out the window?

January 22, 2019 at 4:19PM

James Couche
Independent Filmmaker