Unsane Pushes iPhone Movie Production Into Larger Indie Film Market
Independent film director Steven Soderbergh’s latest feature is generating a lot of buzz within the indie community because of its uniqueness and creativity on multiple levels.
“Unsane” is the story of a woman whose life has been terrifyingly infiltrated by a stalker.
Played by Claire Foy, Sawyer finds herself the object of a high amount of unwelcome attention from the males in her daily life.
She has also just relocated to a new city, job to flee from a crazed man who believes that the two were meant to be together in spite of the court restraining orders that inform him otherwise.
As a means to resolve her hopelessness, Foy checks into an inpatient psychiatric facility where she makes two mistakes. She admits to having experienced suicidal thoughts and she signs, without reading, the paperwork allowing her to be committed against her will.
The psychological thriller in which a character is labeled as insane while the world around them is filled with the most perfidious personalities is not new.
However, Soderbergh’s combination of storyline and narration through novel consumer technologies work very well together in Unsane.
The feature is shot entirely on the iPhone 7, giving the characters toneless skin, creating dimensionless appearances under the lighting inside of the institution.
Foy does an excellent job of portraying her conflicted character, forced to pursue what her inner self is convinced is right despite all of the feedback she receives from the controlling personalities in her environment.
The iPhone has been gaining in popularity among independent filmmakers, who have been able to exploit the camera’s high end CMOS sensors and ability to capture audio that can be massaged in post production.
While Soderbergh is the biggest name so far to use the camera as the sole filming device in their film project, several recent successful indie productions have also used the iPhone to very impressive results.
The 2017 feature “9 Rides,” about an Uber driver whose life forever changes during a series of events on New Years Eve was shot entirely on an iPhone 6.
A creative use of the iPhone was made by Malik Bendjelloul in his super 8mm “Searching for Sugar Man.” After running out of film, Bendejelloul continued shooting his film on an iPhone using an app that created a similar film look, 8mm Vintage Camera that he downloaded from the iTunes store. The film went on to win an Oscar Award in the documentary category.
Launched in 2010 by a filmmaker for other filmmakers, the iPhone Film Festival has become a leading online venue for independent iPhone movie creators to showcase works created on their Apple devices.