Computer screen film

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Computer screen film or desktop film is a film subgenre where the action takes place entirely on a screen of a computer or a smartphone. It became popular in the 2010s with the growing impact of the internet on everyday lives. The technique is often considered to be born from the found footage genre.[1][2]

According to Timur Bekmambetov, 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.[3]

After producing one the first mainstream feature-length computer screen films, Unfriended, in 2014, Bekmambetov inaugurated Screen Life, his umbrella term for films produced using the desktop interface.[4]

"Desktop documentary," a sub-genre of desktop film, was coined by Kevin B. Lee and colleagues at the School at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. They define desktop documentary as a form of filmmaking that "uses screen capture technology to treat the computer screen as both a camera lens and a canvas. Desktop documentary seeks both to depict and question the ways we explore the world through the computer screen."[5] Desktop documentary may be considered the subset of computer screen films that deal with real-life material rather than a fictional narrative world.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chris Evangelista (17 August 2018). "Timur Bekmambetov Developing 14 Computer Screen Movies". Slash Film.
  2. ^ Liam Maguren (13 September 2018). "Will the 'computer screen' movie be this decade's 'found footage'?".
  3. ^ Timur Bekmambetov (22 April 2015). "Rules of the Screenmovie: The Unfriended Manifesto for the Digital Age". MovieMaker.
  4. ^ Bryan Bishop (30 April 2015). "Beyond Unfriended: Timur Bekmambetov's wild plan to make desktop movies mainstream". The Verge.
  5. ^ Grant, Catherine (2015-04-06). "Film Studies For Free: On Desktop Documentary (or, Kevin B. Lee Goes Meta!)". Film Studies For Free. Retrieved 2020-06-29.