Unfriended movie wondercon

The upcoming horror film Unfriended already has a unique look. From the first scene to the last, the entire thing takes place on a computer monitor as a bunch of friends interact on Skype and realize one of their dead friends may have returned, and is trying to kill them. However, what we learned at the WonderCon 2015 panel on the film is that director Levan Gabriadze took that concept to a whole new level. Each actor was in a separate room, actually on a computer, and they shot the entire movie in one take, in real time. 

During the WonderCon panel, writer Nelson Greaves revealed that at the beginning of production, they were already shooting the movie in long takes. Each was around 10 minutes at a time. However, actress Shelley Hennig found it difficult to get energy up for these long takes, then drop back to normal and bring it back up. So she asked if they could do the whole movie in a single take. That’s exactly what the cast did.

Each actor was in their own room with a computer and they shot the entire movie in a single 80 minute take. They didn’t say how many of these takes they did, and of course there were pick-ups and inserts by the end of production, but Greaves said the ending that you’ll see in theaters was captured in one of these movie-length takes.

Those long takes made the Unfriended shoot very quick. Production was 16 days total, including six 12 hour days of principal photography, three days of pick ups and then a few more reshoots and other stuff. The cast said shooting this way let them stay in the moment and keep energy up. Plus, since they were shooting a movie that takes place on a computer, they were able to walk off screen at times, use their phone to text, and they’d get direction via instant messages sent from the director. There didn’t need to be a lot of continuity because the characters are all on a computer screen and things could cut around.

Unfriended opens April 17.

Photo courtesy of Universal. It shows Jason Blum, writer Nelson Greaves and the cast – Shelly Hennig, Moses Jacob Storm, Will Peltz, Renee Olstead, Jacob Wysocki and Courtney Halverson.

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