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Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh shot his latest feature film, "Unsane," entirely on Apple's iPhone. The outcome was so positive, he called it "one of the most liberating experiences that I've ever had as a filmmaker."
While other filmmakers have shot on smartphones as something of a gimmick to get attention for their film, Soderbergh said shooting on an iPhone was not done for publicity.
"Anybody who is 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," the director told Indiewire. "That's not part of the conceit."
In particular, Soderbergh praised the 4K resolution video capture capabilities of the iPhone. He previously worked with bulkier, more expensive RED 4K-and-up cameras.
"I've seen it 40 feet tall," he said of the 4K footage captured on an iPhone. "It looks like velvet. This is a gamechanger to me."
It was first revealed last fall that Soderbergh secretly filmed "Unsane" on an iPhone. The feature is scheduled to arrive in theaters this March.
"Unsane" stars Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharaoh, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving, with Pharoah describing the picture as having some similarities to Jordan Peele-created smash hit "Get Out." The movie was filmed last summer, meaning the best iPhone it could have been shot on was the iPhone 7 Plus.
Soderbergh has a history of experimenting in film, using inexperienced actors, unconventional shooting methods, and unique release strategies. Some of his biggest hits include "Ocean's Eleven," "Erin Brockovich," "Magic Mike," and this year's "Logan Lucky."
Soderbergh's iPhone-driven shoot for "Unsane" lasted just over a week — far shorter than a typical feature-length production takes to wrap. The director even began editing the film on set, letting the actors see a near-final product before they finished their parts.