|High Flying Bird|
|Directed by||Steven Soderbergh|
|Produced by||Joseph Malloch|
|Written by||Tarell Alvin McCraney|
|Music by||David Wilder Savage|
(as Peter Andrews)
|Edited by||Steven Soderbergh|
(as Mary Ann Bernard)
High Flying Bird is a 2019 American sports drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh, from a story suggested by André Holland, with the screenplay by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The film stars Holland, Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn, Zachary Quinto, Glenn Fleshler, Jeryl Prescott, Justin Hurtt-Dunkley, Caleb McLaughlin, Bobbi Bordley, Kyle MacLachlan and Bill Duke.
Sports agent Ray Burke works to break a basketball lockdown with the help of rookie basketball player Erick Scott, by pitching a business opportunity which causes an earthquake in the world of sports.
Additionally, Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe, Joy Taylor, Evan Rosenblum, Van Lathan, and Kristina Pink, appear as themselves. Basketball players Reggie Jackson, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Donovan Mitchell make appearances as themselves in individual interview scenes.
In October 2017, it was announced André Holland had been cast in the film, with Steven Soderbergh directing from a screenplay written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, with Extenstion 765 producing. In March 2018, Zazie Beetz and Kyle MacLachlan joined the cast of the film. In April 2018, Melvin Gregg joined the cast of the film.
Principal photography began in February 2018, in New York City and the film wrapped on March 15, 2018. The film was shot using an iPhone 8 smartphone, equipped with an anamorphic lens produced by Moondog Labs.
"I'd been in conversations with Netflix during Unsane [also shot on an iPhone], and when I ended up going in a different way, I said, 'Look, I have this other thing, I will make sure you get eyes on it early.' When it was basically finished, I brought it to them and they said, 'Great, we'd like to buy it.' It felt like, the kind of film it is, the best way to maximize eyeballs. It's got a better shot at finding all the people who will like it. Otherwise, it's a slow-rolling platform release, which are expensive and you're bound by where the big arthouse theaters are. You can't just go anywhere. I just felt I'd rather have it drop and have everybody be able to see it."
High Flying Bird received positive reviews from film critics. It holds a 93% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 96 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "High Flying Bird takes a thoughtful and engrossing look at professional sports that sees Steven Soderbergh continuing to test the limits of new filmmaking technology." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 78 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".