Screenlife (film format)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Computer screen film)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Screenlife or computer screen film is a film format known as visual storytelling where all the movie events occur on the computer, tablet or smartphone screen. It became popular in the 2010s with the growing impact of the Internet.

According to Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian director and producer, a computer screen film should take place on one specific screen, never move outside of the screen, the camerawork should resemble the behavior of the device's camera, all the action should take place in real time, without any visible transitions and all the sounds should originate from the computer.[1][2][3]

After producing one of the first mainstream feature-length computer screen films, Unfriended, in 2014, Bekmambetov inaugurated screenlife.[4]


Screenlife video displays only a desktop of a computer or smartphone and actions of the main character on this device: viewing files, surfing the Internet, ZOOM or Skype calls, texting in messengers. Screenlife movies are made using a computer or smartphone screen recording technologies and GoPro cameras (and other portable chambers), similar to device cameras.

Screenlife is not the film genre, because screenlife movies can be made in different genres: horror, thriller, comedy, etc. It is mostly known as a new storytelling format because the computer or smartphone screen is used in journalism and advertising as a visual source.[5][6][7][8]


Cinematographers first used the screenlife format in 2010 after the new era of computers and the Internet. Screenlife is based on the immimissive cinema and pseudo-documentary of found footage formats (The Blair Witch Project) and mockumentary (Paranormal).[9] However, the first trials of a combination of a classic film format and demonstration of desktops with interfaces were made in the 2000s. For example, the horror movie The Collingswood Story shows everything through the web cameras of the main characters.

Some elements of the screenlife were recognised in the Night Watch and Day Watch movies by Timur Bekmambetov.[10]

Russian director and producer Timur Bekmambetov made the first full-length screenlife film Unfriended in 2014. Unfriended earned $64 million at the box office while the budget was $1 million. The most successful screenlife movie of Bekmambetov is the thriller Searching. The main roles were performed by American actors John Cho and Debra Messing, and Aneesh Chaganty was the director. The film received an Audience Choice Award at the Sundance Film Festival and collected in world box office over $75 million with a budget of about $700,000.[11][12][13]

In 2018, Bekmambetov first was the director of the screenlife film Profile (in all previous projects, he performed as a producer). Profile is a political thriller about the online recruitment of a British journalist by an Islamic terrorist.[14][15] The film received the Audience Choice Award in the Panorama program of the Berlin Film Festival and the SXSW Festival in the United States.[16]

In 2019, the first TV series about the zombie apocalypse called Dead Of Night in screenlife format was released. The movie was produced by Timur Bekmambetov. It was available to view on smartphones in the Snapchat application. In 2020, the second season was released.[17][18]

In June 2020, Timur Bekmambetov signed an agreement with Universal Pictures for the production of five films in screenlife format.[19]

In October 2020, the media reported that Bekmambetov was producing a new blockbuster in the screenlife format, starring American actors Eva Longoria and Ice Cube.[20]

In 2021, Timur Bekmambetov and Igor Tsai presented their new screenlife project R#J at the Sundance Film Festival. It was an experimental romantic drama that adapts the love story of Romeo and Juliet to the modern world. R#J was also presented at the SXSW Film Festival, where it won an Adobe Editing Award.[21]

In March 2021, Timur Bekmambetov's Bazelevs studio was included in the list of the most innovative companies in the world according to the American edition of Fast Company for the use of shooting technologies in the screenlife format.[22]

In 2021, SXSW also presented a vertical miniseries iBible: Swipe Righteous as a modern retelling of Bible stories on a smartphone screen.[23]

In March 2021, the media reported on the filming of the screenlife comedy #fbf with Ashley Judd.[24]

In June 2021, the media reported about the filming of the new Hollywood screenlife thriller Resurrected (directed by Egor Baranov) with Dave Davis (Dybbuk) in the leading role. The action of the film will occur in the near future, in which the Vatican has learned to resurrect people.[25][26]


The first full-length screenlife film in Russian was Roman Karimov's thrash comedy Dnyukha! (Russian: Днюха!), which was released in 2018. All the actions take place on the screens of gadgets.[27]

In December 2020, an interactive comedy in the screenlife format The Player (Russian: Игрок) was released on an interactive platform where viewers could play alongside the main character.[28][29]

In September 2021, the first Russian screenlife thriller #Blue_Whale (Russian: #ХОЧУВИГРУ), directed by Anna Zaitseva, will be released. The film is dedicated to a series of mysterious teenage deaths in a provincial city.[30][31]

One of the first Russian screenlife TV series was the project of Light from the Other World (Russian: Света с того света), filmed by Maxim Pezhemsky.[32]

During the pandemic, about 10 TV series filmed in the Zoom-conference format were released in Russia.[33][34]

In 2018, the first documentary project in the screenlife format 1968.DIGITAL was released in Russia. It was a vertical web series produced by Mikhail Zygar, Karen Shahinyan and Timur Bekmambetov. This is the story of a real hero from 1968, told through a smartphone screen that he could have. Bekmambetov and Zygar adapted the project into English and released it in the United States together with BuzzFeed with the title Future History:1968.[35]

Other countries[edit]

At the end of 2020, Bekmambetov signed an agreement with the co-founder of the Graphic India film company Sharad Devarajan and the CEO of the Indian media company Reliance Entertainment to create original Indian films in screenlife format.[36]


In the screenlife format, the film set is the desktop of the computer, and the files, folders and screen wallpapers are the decorations. The movement of the cursor is important because the viewer's attention is concentrated on it.[37]

The main difference between the post-production of traditional and screenlife films is the time required for editing. On average, editing screenlife movies takes 6–9 months. The post-production time is compensated for by a shorter production period compared to the traditional cinema (for example, Searching was filmed in 13 days).

Screencasting software is usually used to decorate the device screen, and a GoPro camera is used for shooting. Actors often need to be the cameraman to bring life to the film.[38]


Feature films[edit]

Short films[edit]


  • Transformers: The Premake (2014)
  • Albert Figurt Desktop Horror / a video essay (2016)
  • Future History: 1968 (2018)
  • Chloé Galibert-Lainé Watching the pain of the others (2018)
  • Gabrielle Stemmer Clean with me (After Dark) (2019)
  • The Invention of Chris Marker (2020)
  • iBible: Swipe Righteous (2021)

Web series[edit]

United States[edit]


  • Sveta from Another World (Russian: Света с того света (2018)
  • Feat (Russian: Подвиг (2019)
  • Nagiyev on quarantine (Russian: Нагиев на карантине (2020)
  • #SittingAtHome (Russian: #СидЯдома (2020)
  • Madness (Russian: Беезумие (2020)
  • Together (Russian: Все вместе (2020)
  • Safe Connections (Russian: Безопасные связи (2020)
  • Isolation (Russian: Изоляция (2020)
  • Picky Days (Russian: Окаянные дни (2020)
  • #InMaskShow (Russian: #вмаскешоу (2020)
  • Locked (Russian: Взаперти (2020)
  • Alice (Russian: Алиса (2020)
  • Sveta from Another World 2 (Russian: Света с того света 2 (2021)
  • Quarantine Stories (Russian: Истории карантина (2021)



  • 2014: Remove from Friends (Russian: Убрать из друзей) — Most Innovative Film According to Fantasia Film Festival
  • 2018: Search (Russian: Поиск) — 2018 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award (NEXT Program) and Alfred Sloan Award
  • 2018: Profile (Russian: Профиль) — Audience Award of the Berlin Film Festival (Panorama Program)
  • 2018: Profile (Russian: Профиль) — SXSW Film Festival Audience Award
  • 2020: R#J — SXSW Film Festival Special Adobe Editing Award

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "Тимур Бекмамбетов: Люди хотят смотреть фильмы "скринлайф" | DW | 25.02.2018". DW.COM (in ru-RU). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  2. ^ "Тимур Бекмамбетов снимет пять screenlife-фильмов для компании Universal". Российская газета (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  3. ^ Timur Bekmambetov (22 April 2015). "Rules of the Screenmovie: The Unfriended Manifesto for the Digital Age". MovieMaker.
  4. ^ Bishop, Bryan (2015-04-30). "Beyond Unfriended: inside the wild plan to make desktop movies mainstream". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  5. ^ Булгаков, Александр (2020-03-16). "Скринлайф: честная история создания одного ролика — Маркетинг на". Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  6. ^ Frater, Patrick (2021-06-15). "Screenlife Thriller 'The Pilot' Leads the Way for All Rights Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  7. ^ "The History of Screenlife Films: 10 Key Movies in An Exciting New Genre". GQ. 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  8. ^ Мамедов, Джейхун. ""Иди туда, где трава зеленая". Интервью с Тимуром Бекмамбетовым, предпринимателем" (in ru-RU). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  9. ^ "Что такое скринлайф, и как его снять". Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  10. ^ Самитов, Антон (2021-05-12). "Тимур Бекмамбетов о "Сумеречном дозоре": "Это должен быть screenlife-фильм" — Кино и сериалы на DTF". DTF. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  11. ^ Searching (2018), retrieved 2021-08-12
  12. ^ Grater, Tom (2020-02-13). "'Searching' Producer Timur Bekmambetov To Shoot World's First Vertical Format Blockbuster". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  13. ^ "Семейные ценности 2.0: что ищет Бекмамбетов в "Поиске"". Газета.Ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (2021-03-23). "Focus Features Acquires Timur Bekmambetov Terrorist Thriller 'Profile'". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  15. ^ "Screenlife-триллер Тимура Бекмамбетова "Профиль" выйдет в мировой прокат". BURO. (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  16. ^ "Биография Тимура Бекмамбетова". РИА Новости (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Тимур Бекмамбетов перескажет библейские сюжеты для смартфонов". Кино-Театр.Ру. 2021-02-11. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  18. ^ "Бекмамбетов сделал вертикальный зомби-сериал для приложения Snapchat". Российская газета. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  19. ^ "Universal Pictures и Бекмамбетов подписали контракт на пять screenlife-фильмов". (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ "СМИ узнали, Ева Лонгория снимется в фильме Тимура Бекмамбетова". РИА Новости (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ "Фильм Бекмамбетова "Ромео и Джульетта" выбран в конкурс "Сандэнса"". РИА Новости (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Эванс, Брайан Д. "Экономика блокчейна: стартапы, которые зарабатывают на мощности чужих компьютеров" (in ru-RU). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  23. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray; Ramos, Dino-Ray (2021-03-10). "SXSW Swipes Right On Timur Bekmambetov's Smartphone Project 'iBible'; Series To Premiere At Online Fest". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  24. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (2021-04-02). "Ashley Judd to Star in YA Drama '#FBF' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  25. ^ "Что такое Screenlife и чем этот формат отличается от классического кино". Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  26. ^ "Screenlife: как искусство вторглось в ваш cмартфон и почему вам это очень понравится". KYKY.ORG (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  27. ^ "На Sundance прошла премьера нового проекта Бекмамбетова". Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  28. ^ "Бекмамбетов представит скринлайф-фильм "Игрок"". (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  29. ^ "Бекмамбетов выпустит новогоднюю комедию "Игрок" в формате скринлайф". Профиль (in ru-RU). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  30. ^ "Российский триллер вошел в конкурс международного фестиваля Fantasia". Российская газета (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  31. ^ ""Отчаянная" Анна Зайцева отправилась на поиски любви". Кино-Театр.Ру. 2021-07-19. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  32. ^ "История развития скринлайфа в России: от "Убрать из друзей" Бекмамбетова до "СидЯдома" Никишова и Федоровича". EG.RU (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  33. ^ "Рецензия на мини-сериал "Алиса" — экспериментальную антологию про умное такси и не всегда умных пассажиров". Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  34. ^ "Оригинальный сериал IVI "ЧУМА!" признан лучшим сериалом на карантине". (in Russian). 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  35. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray; Ramos, Dino-Ray (2021-03-19). "SXSW Film Festival: 'The Fallout' And Docu 'Lily Topples The World' Among Jury Award Winners". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  36. ^ "Тимур Бекмамбетов заключил соглашение с индийскими кинокомпаниями". Журнал Esquire (in ru-RU). Retrieved 2021-08-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  37. ^ "Жизнь за экраном. Что такое Screen Life и чем так хорош новый киноязык?". Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  38. ^ Bekmambetov, Timur (2015-04-22). "Rules of the Screenmovie: The Unfriended Manifesto for the Digital Age". MovieMaker Magazine. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  39. ^ Genov, Toni V. (2021-03-14), 2088 (Short, Thriller, Sci-Fi), Devoted Daydream, retrieved 2021-03-22