Searching is a must-see thriller that's perfect for this time of year. It'll keep you on the edge of your seat and impress you with its stylistic and unique cinematography. Following a new trend in filmmaking, Searching is filmed entirely through the point of view of screens. Computer screens, phone screens, tablet, go-pros, and more were all used to film the surprise hit but not any of those large clunky movie camera were more accustomed to seeing.
Searching is the story of a desperate father named David, played by John Cho. His world is turned upside when his teenage daughter, Margot, goes missing. The mystery unfolds through the use of screens as David spends some time reading through Reddit, Tumblr, and Facebook pages dissecting everything he sees as he slowly tries to make sense of what has happened.
David's main form of communication with other people is also done through screens frequently giving us a first-person point of view. He primarily uses FaceTime to communicate with an empathetic detective played Debra Messing who ends up helping him in his search.
While the storyline is fast paced and well done (it'll keep your attention), how the film was made is the real story. Juan Sebastian Baron was the cinematographer for Searching who had to work around the fact that he wasn't able to use a traditional video camera that most cinematographers use while setting a shot. He had to use something commonly found in pockets and purses of just about everyone. We spoke to him about these all of these challenges in an exclusive interview.
Baron's creativity was a driving force on Searching's big-time success on a small budget. The plot is driven by its use of small cameras in phones, laptops, and go-pros all worn to give us that realistic feel that we're watching everything unfold from our phones. The angles and views that these cameras give us are what the characters are supposed to be seeing themselves. It all had to be perfect. Doing all of this right wasn't easy.
This movie takes the social media age and the age of cameras to a new level. A mere 25 years ago video cameras weren't commonplace and cost hundreds of dollars for one of those big clunky ones. Today, just about everyone has the ability to record video though it still costs hundreds of dollars. Still, it's more attainable for the average person.
The 2015 film Unfriended, and it's 2018 it's sequel Unfriended: The Dark Web were also done completely in a screen point of view. Searching joins the growing list of media to incorporate the digital world into its script. Think of when the characters are texting onscreen. Often the text will pop up on the screen so the viewer can read these messages. This happens in a number of shows and is leading to a little something called the screen genre. It could be a thing very soon. Say you heard it here first.
The producer of Unfriended, Timur Bekmambetov, joined director Aneesh Chaganty in making the film. It was Chaganty's directorial debut. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January and was immediately received lots of buzz. It was recognized there and bought by Sony who set it up for national release in August.
Holding a 92% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, Searching has received praise for it's acting, writing, and of course, it's cinematography. Baron did an incredible job portraying the screen world we live in and giving us an authentic point of view from screens. The many lenses used to film Searching all came together to give us a near perfect film perfect for the 21st century.
Look for Searching in a theatre near you. It's the perfect film to watch on a fall night when horror isn't really your thing, but you still want a movie to be...kind of freaky. Are you up for Searching? Or have you already seen it? Let us know in the comments!