Unfriended: Dark Web Q&A with Stephen Susco


Get the inside scoop on Blumhouse Productions’ new horror film, Unfriended: Dark Web.

This week The Los Angeles Film School screened the all-too-real horror movie, Unfriended: Dark Web. Jeff Goldsmith, from the Backstory Podcast, moderated the Q&A with special guests Stephen Susco (writer/director) and Andrew Wesman (film editor).

About the movie:

Are you afraid of the Dark Web? You should be. Blumhouse Productions’ latest film, Unfriended: Dark Web, will leave you paranoid about using your electronic devices. The movie takes place entirely from the viewpoint of a computer screen through Skype and Facebook chats. It follows six panic-stricken friends over the course of one unforgettable night as they’re terrorized by an unknown malicious hacker.

Q & A Recap with Stephen Susco and Andrew Wesman—Moderated by Jeff Goldsmith.

According to Stephen Susco, the Dark Web freaked him out so much that he decided to write a screenplay about it. Unfriended: Dark Web is Susco’s directorial debut.

What were your first gigs outside of Film school?

Adapting Anthony Bourdain’s first book, Bone in the Throat, into a screenplay. **This project was actually done while Susco was still in college.**

While in Film school, Wesman’s friends asked him to help out with editing the first Unfriended movie.

Fun Fact: The original Unfriended movie went through several name changes. “Offline” was the original title then it got changed to “Cybernatural” and finally landed on Unfriended.

How were the Unfriended movies made?

It’s basically an animated film. Everything was animated by hand and created in post production. Both Unfriended and the sequel were shot using GoPros.

What was the biggest change to the movie after Universal Studios got involved?

The endings.There’s about 100 different endings—even with the theatrical release, there’s two different endings.

What does Unfriended 2 look like as a screenplay?

It’s a real-time movie that takes place on a computer screen so there are no slug lines. The script was 93 pages long, and the first cut of the movie was 2 hours and 57 minutes long.

What was the budget for this movie?

The movie had a million-dollar budget and was shot in eight days.

What was your toughest scene as a writer?

The scene where Matias has to tell his friends that it’s not a game and they’re really in trouble. Leading up to that scene, the entire movie was a playful narrative and didn’t have explainer scenes. It was tough to fit in an explainer scene.

Thank you Stephen Susco and Andrew Wesman for visiting The Los Angeles Film School’s main theater on campus. Unfriended: Dark Web is in theaters Friday, July 20.