Last year at SXSW I got to talk to Jason Blum about how he caught Oculus at the Toronto International Film Festival and helped get it out into the world and this year we got to have a similar discussion about his latest find, the Timur Bekmambetov-created project, Unfriended. The movie takes place entirely on Blaire’s (Shelley Hennig) computer screen. She starts up a video call with her friends, but there’s also an unknown Skype user in the chat, a Skype user who claims to be Laura Barns, a girl from their high school who committed suicide a year ago.
If you caught my review and/or interview with writer Nelson Greaves and director Levan Gabriadze, you know that I think Unfriended is one heck of an accomplishment. It’s easily one of the most effective and natural depictions of computer usage on the big screen I’ve ever seen. However, with a little over a month between the film’s SXSW screening and its wide release, they’re still tweaking a few things. Catch what Blum told me about the changes they’re making, why they switched the title from Cybernatural to Unfriended and more in the video interview below. And in case you missed the portion of the interview where Blum discusses the status of a handful of his upcoming projects, click here to check that out.
- 00:00 – How Blumhouse got involved after the film’s Fantasia premiere.
- 00:36 – The soul of the film is still the same as the original cut; Blumhouse would just help push it out into the world.
- 01:25 – Figuring out how long the concept can last and still be scary; playing with different endings.
- 02:15 – Making the graphics feel real and authentic.
- 02:38 – The movie will feel dated quickly, but it’ll be a window into life in 2014.
- 03:06 – Does Unfriended have franchise potential?
- 03:56 – The unprecedented camera system and whether or not Blumhouse might use it on future films.
- 04:35 – The familiar computer sounds that are now terrifying thanks to the movie.
- 05:08 – Going with the title Unfriended versus Cybernatural.