Similar to how found footage emerged as a popular new form of storytelling in the last 20 years, Hollywood is starting to develop a cool new way to present a narrative, specifically through on-screen stories. The latest example is Aneesh Chaganty's Searching -- following a father (John Cho) as he uses laptops, smartphones, and other devices to find his missing daughter -- and you might be surprised just goes what into the process. Fortunately, you can learn about it straight from the people who experienced it by clicking play on the video below:
Stars John Cho and Debra Messing and writer/director Aneesh Chaganty talked all about the process of making Searching earlier this month during the Los Angeles press day for the film -- and it definitely doesn't sound like a real cakewalk, even for a seasoned performer. This is because the direct interaction between characters was cut off for most of production, as the actors not only typically inhabited sets by themselves, but also couldn't really see the other person to whom they were speaking.
In Searching, John Cho plays David Kim -- who has been losing touch with his teenage daughter, Margot (Michelle La), ever since her mother passed away. One night she says that she is going out to study with friends, but a horrific nightmare sets upon David when he realizes that she is not home the next morning and nobody knows where she is. Working with a police officer assigned to the case, Detective Vick (Debra Messing), he winds up becoming an extremely active part of the investigation, using his daughter's contacts and web history to try and find clues to the mystery. Unfortunately, what he also discovers is that Margot is definitely not the person he thought she was prior to her disappearance.
This is the kind of story we've seen play out many different ways in many different films, but Searching's approach puts unique spin on things. Thus far titles like Open Windows, Unfriended, and its recent sequel have explored the horror side of things, but Aneesh Chaganty's experiments with an interesting thriller and works. It clearly took a lot of work for the actors to get used to it, but they ultimately put on great turns, that feel entirely natural and feed right into the realism of the narrative presentation. You legitimately do not get the sense that they are basically acting into a webcam with a blank screen.