John Cho and ‘Searching’ Director Aneesh Chaganty Talk Staging a Thriller Entirely on Computer Screens

     January 30, 2018


One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching. Told entirely on computer screens, the extremely well done thriller is about a desperate father (John Cho) searching for his missing teenage daughter. As he tries to figure out what happened, he uses her laptop, FaceTime, and tons of other apps and programs to help him along the way. As the search gets larger, he joins forces with a local detective (Debra Messing).


Image via Sundance Institute

Since the film was purchased by Sony almost immediately after its world premiere, I’m sure you’re going to hear a lot more about this movie and the very cool way the story unfolds in the not-so-distant future. Just know you should absolutely check this one out when it gets released on August 3rd.

While at Sundance, I got to speak with Aneesh Chaganty and John Cho at the Collider Studio. They talked about what the film is about, the two years they spent editing the movie, how they incorporated new technology into the story/script, memorable moments from filming, what they learned from early screenings, the challenge of keeping the momentum going, and so much more.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is a list of exactly what we talked about.

kia supper suiteFinally, a huge thank you to everyone at Kia and The Future Party for helping to make these interviews happen at the Kia Supper Suite and offering up transportation in the all new Kia Stinger high performance Sportback for our guests. We’d also like to thank Altec Lansing, Kunde Wines, Blue Moon Brewing, and Topo Chico for their support.

Aneesh Chaganty and John Cho:

  • We talk Kia and free cars.
  • How within 24 hours of showing the film at Sundance it sold.
  • How they spent two years editing the movie and how they spent 7 weeks before they even started filming.
  • John talks about what the film is about.
  • The challenge of keeping the momentum going and how it never slows down.
  • How did they incorporate new technology into the story/script?
  • John talks about what it was about the story/script that got him excited to be involved?
  • What did they learn from early screenings that impacted the finished film? Aneesh talks about how the first questionnaire had 212 questions.
  • Memorable moments from filming.

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