Prepare Yourself For The First Ever Vertical-Format Blockbuster
Russian director and producer Timur Bekmambetov is creating the world’s first blockbuster shot entirely in vertical format. According to Deadline, the World War II thriller titled V2. Escape From Hell is being produced in partnership with Russia’s largest phone operator MTS. This makes sense, considering the $10 million pic is being shot with smartphone devices in mind. So basically, it’s about to be the most expensive TikTok ever made.
Bekmambetov is credited as one of the pioneers of the "Screenlife" technique, in which the events of a movie unfold through the medium of an iPhone or laptop camera. It’s proved to be quite effective in other pictures Bekmambetov has worked on, including Unfriended and Searching. It’s a cousin to home-video style movies like Blair Witch Project, breaking down the barrier between audience and subject. But what Bekmambetov is doing with V2. Escape From Hell is something entirely different than what we’ve seen before. Releasing a movie in vertical format is heavily encouraging viewers to experience the film on their phones.
Bekmambetov is no stranger to vertical storytelling — he helmed the first entirely vertical narrative series, Dead of Night, for Snapchat. But his newest project won’t just be available exclusively on smartphones. V2. Escape From Hell will also receive a theatrical release, with the same aspect ratio. This will be the first time in movie history that a blockbuster will be released in vertical format.
Would you see a vertically-shot war epic in theaters? Or is this officially a sign that cinema as we know it is dead and gone? We’ll find out soon enough — V2. Escape From Hell will be released in both Russian and English in early 2021.
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