Top Hollywood director’s new iPhone movie makes its debut

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Steven Soderbergh is a big fan of shooting on iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Director Steven Soderbergh’s new psychological thriller, Unsane, which was shot on an iPhone, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this week.

The movie was shot over the course of just two weeks, considerably shorter than the typical shooting schedule on a feature film. It stars actress Claire Foy as a woman who moves to a new city to unsuccessfully escape a man who is stalking her. Check out the trailer below.

Unsane is one of 400 films being screened at the festival, although it is not one of the 19 movies in contention for the main Golden Bear prize. The festival, which takes place in the German capital city, runs through February 25.

The benefits of shooting on iPhone

Steven Soderbergh — whose titles include everything from Ocean’s Eleven to Magic Mike — has seemingly been impressed by the experience of shooting on iPhone, although it’s not without its challenges — such as its susceptibility to vibrations.

“I have to say the positives for me really were significant and it’s going to be tricky to go back to a more conventional way of shooting,” he said. “The gap now between the idea and the execution of the idea is just shrinking and this means you get to try out more ideas so I wish I’d had this equipment when I was 15.”

One of the actors, Joshua Leonard, commented that being filmed on iPhone makes it easier for the actors to stay in character. Part of this is because people are so used to having an iPhone in their face that, “it really minimized any self-consciousness about the process of making a film.”

This isn’t the first time a movie has been shot on iPhone. Previous Sundance movie Tangerine was shot entirely on iPhone, and garnered considerable critical appreciation.

Coming to theaters soon

Soderbergh’s Unsane will debut in its wide release to theaters on March 23. Soderbergh reportedly plans to self-distribute the film through his Fingerprint Releasing via Bleecker Street.

The director hasn’t revealed which iPhone he used to shoot the movie. However, since it was filmed this summer it makes sense that it would be an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, since these were the newest iPhones available at the time. Maybe he’ll release a “behind the scenes” video at some point so we can find out!

Source: Reuters