Would you pay to see a movie shot on an iPhone 7?
I just did. But would you?
I just got back from the local cinema, having spent a couple of hours in the company of Unseen – a new horror-thriller from director, Steven Soderbergh. The film – about a young business woman who ends up in a mental institute – is notable for being a low budget flick, filmed entirely on an iPhone 7.
First and foremost, Unseen is a very good movie. The story works very well; actress Claire Foy gives a great performance in the lead role; and it is a little unnerving at times. However, the way in which the movie is filmed will not be to everyone’s tastes and that’s what I want to discuss.
In terms of being filmed entirely on an iPhone 7, there is the obvious problem of the lighting being terrible and the overall picture quality looking poor. Of course, with this film being set in a mental institute there is the argument that these adjustments in quality added to the overall atmosphere of this film, so it got away with it – this time.
But could this argument be used as an excuse to get away with a smaller budget on future films?
Movie studios will happily churn out films on as small a budget as possible, so while this technique did (just about) work for Unseen, would it be the same for a different story entirely? I’m not trying to belittle Unseen – I genuinely enjoyed the movie – but at times I do admit that I found the picture quite jarring and I did wonder what other members of the audience thought.
With more and more people opting to skip the cinema in favour of streaming or a home video release, should studios be putting films into cinemas that are filmed on nothing more than a smart phone? Does this not devalue the big screen experience that we all pay for?
Of course, without low budget filming techniques we would never have had The Blair Witch Project (1999) or Paranormal Activity (2007) – both excellent examples of terror on a budget. But is there a line between low budget and low quality?
I’m playing devil’s advocate here, because I’m genuinely interested to read people’s opinions on the matter – not because I want to tear down Unsane. I do think it’s a great movie.
So, what do you think?
Would you pay to see a movie shot entirely on an iPhone 7? Yes or no?