- Steven Soderbergh’s next movie, “Unsane,” was shot with just an iPhone.
- The director might never go back to traditional cameras again.
Steven Soderbergh has spent his career making maverick moves when it comes to how he shoots his projects. In the early 2000s he was a major promoter of shooting on digital film, now he’s using iPhones.
For his next movie, “Unsane,” in which Claire Foy (Netflix’s “The Crown”) plays a character who is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, the Oscar-winning director shot the entire movie on an iPhone. And it sounds like he loved it so much he wants to do it exclusively for now on.
“I think this is the future,” Soderbergh told Indiewire. “Anybody going to see this movie who has no idea of the backstory to the production will have no idea this was shot on the phone. That’s not part of the conceit.”
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Soderbergh has loved to mess with new technology over his career. In 2005 he was one of the biggest directors to shoot on HD video with the low budget movie “Bubble.” For many years he’s shot using the RED camera, because it complemented his fast-paced workflow (the director is known for having scenes he shot in a day completely edited by that evening). Now it looks like the iPhone is his latest tech love affair.
“People forget, this is a 4k capture,” Soderbergh said of the iPhone. “I’ve seen [‘Unsane’] 40 feet tall. It looks like velvet. This is a game changer to me.”
Soderbergh is hardly the first filmmaker to shoot a movie with a phone. Before making “The Florida Project,” director Sean Baker used only iPhones to shoot “Tangerine.” But to completely ditch traditional cameras for an iPhone would be a revolutionary next step in filmmaking, especially for someone of Soderbergh’s caliber.
“There’s a philosophical obstacle a lot of people have about the size of the capture device,” Soderbergh told Indiewire of shooting with an iPhone. “I don’t have that problem. I look at this as potentially one of the most liberating experiences that I’ve ever had as a filmmaker, and that I continue having. The gets that I felt moment to moment were so significant that this is, to me, a new chapter.”
You will get to see for yourself what Soderbergh is talking about when “Unsane” opens in theaters March 23.