Less than a week after releasing his interactive app-based television experience Mosaic, Steven Soderbergh is making waves in the tech world once again. This time, it’s for his upcoming psychological horror flick Unsane, which, according to Deadline, he secretly shot entirely on his iPhone.
The film stars Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharaoh, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving, and was written by Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer. It reportedly follows the story of a young woman (Foy) who is forcibly committed to a mental facility, and like many films in similar settings, the protagonist will have to suss out whether the terrifying events she’s experiencing are real or a product of her delusions.
Pharaoh spoke with Entertainment Weekly regarding the movie’s feel and Soderbergh’s process back in August:
That week — I don’t know long it was, week and a half? However long it was, it was so quick, but it was just a dope experience. The movie kind of reminds me of some reality-type horror — almost Get Out-ish, but different, which feels good.
Because it was filmed over this past summer many are speculating that the project was likely shot on the iPhone 7 Plus, which sports 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras and was the first iPhone to include Portrait Mode. Regardless, Pharaoh notes that the fact that it was filmed on a mobile device in just over a week doesn’t hold it back cinematically:
… I saw about 80 percent of the film. But I’m excited to see the whole thing, because it looks so dope — you wouldn’t be able to tell anything [about how it was made]. It looks that great.
Unsane isn’t the first widely-released movie to be filmed exclusively on an iPhone, either — Sean Baker’s 2015 Sundance favorite Tangerine was filmed using the iPhone 5S, the FiLMiC Pro app, and anamorphic adapters.
Unsane is set to premiere on March 23 of next year, and will be released by Soderbergh’s own Fingerprint Releasing via NYC-based distribution company Bleecker Street.
How do you feel about the iPhone as a cinematographic tool? Share your musings with us in the comments.