Netflix blockbuster “Don’t look up”: Crazy cell phones really do exist

Anyone who takes advantage of the holidays and discovered the latest Netflix blockbuster “Don’t Look Up” might ask themselves: What kind of weird cell phone was that kept in front of the camera? Pure fantasy? Not at all, because the crazy smartphone really does exist.

Since the release on Christmas Eve there is “Don’t Look Up” at the forefront of Netflix’s Top 10. The blockbuster with an incredible cast of stars (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and many more) is popular and hotly debated. After all, filmmaker Adam McKay is not staging an outrageous plot à la “Armageddon”, but rather a wonderful social and media satire based on the model of “Wag the Dog”. I think: absolutely worth seeing.

In the Netflix blockbuster, the BASH LiiF, actually a RED Hydrogen One

Not only the stars are always in the picture, but also their smartphones. They are not at all similar to what we know from Apple, Samsung and Co. The film is about the “BASH LiiF”, in one scene of the film, presented by company founder Peter Isherwell, wonderfully played by Mark Rylance. Isherwell can be understood as a parody of several characters from real life – Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and of course Steve Jobs or his successor Tim Cook.

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The BASH LiiF, scene in “Don’t Look Up”:

One of the crazy features: The BASH LiiF recognizes the user’s feelings. Not at all crazy: The cell phone really exists, at least the external design is based on a real smartphone that very few people have heard of. The RED Hydrogen One is actually behind the BASH LiiF – So far the only smartphone from the camera manufacturer “Red Digital Cinema”, which is valued by professionals. It was announced in 2017, came onto the market in 2018 and disappeared for a short time. Unfortunately, with prices well in excess of $ 1,000, the Android phone could not conquer the market, despite a “holographic” screen that could display 3D content without glasses.

How did the director come up with this?

Today the rare smartphone has almost been forgotten, but can still be purchased as a used model for a few hundred euros (view it on eBay). But how did it come to be used in the film “Don’t Look Up”? In an interview we learn the background (source: CNET).

Can you watch “Don’t Look Up” now on Netflix:

Responsible for this was prop master and ex-punk rocker Michael Bates, who gave filmmaker Adam McKay the idea. The describes the process as follows:

“I remember asking him early on, ‘Michael, how are we going to get a phone that doesn’t look like the standard phones out there?’ And he said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it, ‘and then he comes back with that phone. He says, ‘This is a whole cell phone that Red Cam made. They never published it. Look at it.’ And I started playing with it. I was like, ‘Why didn’t they publish this? That’s incredible.’ But apparently it is technically not consumer-friendly. “

It should be noted here, however, that the RED Hydrogen One was actually sold, but only in small numbers. Hence the mistaken assumption that it would never have been published. In short: Even if the RED smartphone was a flop, it is now experiencing an unexpected, second spring in Hollywood.