Steven Soderbergh's Shot-on-iPhone Horror Movie 'Unsane' Gets March 2018 Theatrical Release Date

Steven Soderbergh, the director currently experimenting with smartphone technology in the television show "Mosaic," has now unveiled his next feature film "Unsane," which was shot entirely on an iPhone. Soderbergh kept the project secret during filming so it's unclear which iPhone he used, but the film began making waves over the summer as news of its existence surfaced, suggesting it was filmed sometime in the first half or middle of 2017 and potentially shot with an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.

Now, it's been confirmed the movie will have a wide theatrical release on March 23, 2018, and star Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharaoh, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving (via Deadline and Apple Insider). Unsane is said to be a "reality-type horror — almost Get Out-ish, but different," and was filmed entirely over the course of about a week, according to an Entertainment Weekly interview with Jay Pharaoh from August.

But in an interview with EW, Pharoah did divulge some information about the movie, which he describes as "reality-type horror — almost Get Out-ish, but different."

"...you wouldn’t be able to tell anything [about how it was made]. It looks that great."
There have been a few movies shot on Apple's iPhone that have gotten attention over the past few years, most notably "Tangerine" from 2015. That film was captured using a collection of three iPhone 5s devices, an $8 app called Filmic Pro, a set of anamorphic adapter lenses, and a steadicam rig for stabilization. Tangerine was released in a limited theatrical capacity following a few festival runs in 2015, and considering that other shot-on-iPhone movies have mostly been independent or foreign films, Unsane could be biggest release yet for a movie captured with an iPhone.

Over the summer, Apple itself funded an eleven minute short film made with an iPhone that was directed by Michel Gondry, along with sharing a series of behind-the-scenes videos about the making of the short. The film, called "Détour," was eventually filmed at the Marché Saint-Germain Apple Store in Paris, where Gondry also discussed the making of his movie and talked about the future of cinema and where the iPhone fits into filmmaking.

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12 months ago

This is impressive as long as $50,000 worth of lighting equipment wasn't used to help out the sensor.


You mean just like a regular cinema camera would need?
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If it was shot on video (e.g., an iPhone) then it's a video, not a film and the filmmaker is a videomaker.


Nearly everyone in the industry would disagree with you on that one.
Rating: 13 Votes
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12 months ago
This is impressive as long as $50,000 worth of lighting equipment wasn't used to help out the sensor.
Rating: 4 Votes
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12 months ago

This is impressive as long as $50,000 worth of lighting equipment wasn't used to help out the sensor.


Not sure why that matters, even the RED cameras are used with lighting when making a movie. Movies require lighting, a test YouTube video comparing cameras does not.
Rating: 3 Votes
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12 months ago

You mean just like a regular cinema camera would need?
[doublepost=1510760377][/doublepost]

Nearly everyone in the industry would disagree with you on that one.

Plus I can recommend some books OP can read. :)

For me, I love the shot-on-iPhone projects as it helps break down what we might perceive as barriers as filmmakers and puts the emphasis back on our own vision and the power of story.
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 months ago

No one in this article or in the "Unsane" crew said "all you need is an iPhone". What they did say was "shot entirely on an iPhone" and it was. That doesn't mean they didn't use lighting, or props, or costumes, or a computer for editing the footage... it simply means exactly what it says; shot entirely on the iPhone.

In fact, they even mentioned later in the article that on the previous critically acclaimed iPhone film "Tangerine" they did use extra lenses, stabilizers, etc. So, no "all-you-need-is-this-iPhone pitch" anywhere that I saw here.


True but the only reason this is "news" is the implication that this is a huge step forward for movie makers (which it's not) or a movie making powerhouse in the consumer's hand (which it's not).

The savings of a movie maker switching from the current popular DSLR options to an iPhone are trivial. And the $1K savings for much worse low light performance is a questionable decision outside of marketing that you "made it on an iphone!".

The ability for the average consumer to make movies over previous smart phones incremental at best.
Rating: 1 Votes
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12 months ago

This is impressive as long as $50,000 worth of lighting equipment wasn't used to help out the sensor.

Like others have said, I don't understand the logic of this statement. Lights are used when filming to create a look, an atmosphere, to enhance the story and focus on the subject. There are exceptions (The Revenant DOP Emmanuel Lubezki) but for the vast majority of films "let there be lights!"

If it was shot on video (e.g., an iPhone) then it's a video, not a film and the filmmaker is a videomaker.

LOL See above. So the DOP of The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki, is NOT a filmmaker because it was shot on on an ARRI digital camera? Take it from someone who works in film and television for a living, though we might struggle with the terminology introduced by technology, we aren't calling Emmanuel Lubezki a "videomaker".

BTW, out of interest, I worked on The Revenant for several days in Props and waiting for natural light to be perfect rather than setting up lights caused numerous delays and continuity challenges. Though I appreciate the artistic intent I am not 100% convinced this self-imposed stricture made for a better movie. But then, I have far fewer Oscars than Emmanuel Lubezki, so I am willing to concede I may be wrong.

I welcome any technology that makes it easier (cheaper) for artist to explore their creative expression.
Rating: 1 Votes
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12 months ago

This is impressive as long as $50,000 worth of lighting equipment wasn't used to help out the sensor.


Yeah, the camera is sometimes one of the least expensive items on a shoot now. Expensive lights, dolly/stabilizing , sound equipment, etc... is still needed even for an ultra-low budget film made on smartphones.
Rating: 1 Votes
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12 months ago

You mean just like a regular cinema camera would need?


Fair point on one hand, but not for a all-you-need-is-this-iPhone pitch.
Rating: 1 Votes
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