web analytics

UNFRIENDED Cast Discusses Cybernatural Horror and Pros and Cons of Social Media


The cast of the upcoming horror film Unfriended, were in attendance at Wondercon in Anaheim Ca., this past weekend. The cast did a panel and revealed some footage of the film and also spoke with the media about the film. In this roundtable interview, we spoke with Jacob Wysocki, Courtney Halverson and Renee Olstead, who all star in the cybernatural horror film. The trio discussed how it was to shoot a “cybernatural” horror film and gave their thoughts on the pros and cons of social media.


From left to right: Will Peltz, Jason Blum, Renee Olstead, Shelley Hennig, Courtney Halverson, Moses Storm, Jacob Wysocki, Nelson Greaves

Q: Jacob, finding yourself in a horror genre, how did that feel for you?

Jacob Wysocki: It’s a huge, huge, huge departure you know what I mean? Just pacing alone and tone alone is so different than doing like a slow indie flick and this was a lot more about me bringing a character in, instead of filling a character out, as far as character work goes. So it’s nicer to kind of bring in my own voice instead of like work with the director to create my character’s voice. It’s a little more freeing.

Q: During the filming, obviously as you’re working with people, you start getting those kinds of relationships, you start becoming friends kind of thing. During the filming, where you feeling that on the set or was it kind of tense?

Renee Olstead: I think there was a lot of camaraderie.

Courtney Halverson: Oh yeah! During the filming of this, because of the dates it fell on, we had like five birthdays in a cast. It was like everyday at lunch, there were like cupcakes and we would be hanging out but then we would have to like go back into our rooms and like recluse from each other. Any chance we got to hang out outside, we all took that chance.

Jacob Wysocki: Yeah, I felt that there was a lot of us sitting outside as a group being like ‘so what now? What do we do? How do we make this better on the next run around?’ Because there was so much communication to make it good, we all knew we had the same intent. So it was just easy to form a friendship on top of it.

Q: How did this movie differ from the ones you’ve done in the past? How do you find that different headspace?

Renee Olstead: It’s just worlds away. You kind of consider the fact that we all kind of got to be our own cinematographers, which was really fun. It was also kind of shot in a way that you wouldn’t imagine, like from front to back in one take. So it was a lot of responsibility but there were some really good things about it. Like all of the girls, we all kind of know how to make ourselves look good (laughs).

Courtney Halverson: Oh yeah! Being your own cinematographer and getting to control the way the camera looks, I mean, I was definitely busy. I would be like ‘Okay, left side…’ and had to make sure to hit the light here. Like if I thought that I was laughing in a really ugly way, I would like try and duck out of the frames before anyone else would notice.

Q: Now having taking control like that, is directing something maybe you would want to be thinking about doing in the future?

Courtney Halverson: God no! No! I hate actors so I wouldn’t want to…I’m kidding. But God no, no way.

Jacob Wysocki: It’s a whole different mental process. And there’s a level of organization that I don’t think people that act, possess and that’s like why we are just like ‘we’ll show up when you tell us, man.’ I don’t want to be having to like get everyone on board and focusing. It’s not the same.

Courtney Halverson: [Acting] is a little bit lazier. I wouldn’t want to have to plan lunches for anyone, schedule it, figure out where the camera goes.

Q: A big part of acting is sort of playing off of peoples emotions that you’re interacting with, so is this method very similar to like green screen acting?

Jacob Wysocki: We were all kind of tapped in live, so unlike Skype, there was no delay, no sound delay. All computers were hardwired together with a fake Skype program that the cinematographer coded. We were all there, seeing each other talk and able to do whatever, so no different than right here.

Courtney Halverson: Yeah, it really allowed me to feel my character in the same room. And being in that house really helps with that ’cause despite having earbuds in, you can still kinda hear a little bit happening in the rooms around you. So, no. It didn’t feel so isolated like working on a green screen, acting opposite of a tennis ball, it definitely didn’t feel like that. It felt like we were with each other.

Renee Olstead: Also, I think it’s a format that we are all very comfortable with. We live in the internet age.

Q: Based on the premiss, what do you think is the scariest part of online social media today?

Jacob Wysocki: I think that so many people today believe that they create a face of inanimate amongst what they are putting out there, and I can say anything and there’s no real repercussions because they can’t reach through the screen, but in our case, it’s like somebody can and be like ‘this is what you’re doing and I’m going to f*** you up for it.’ Instead of just like being able to close your laptop and make a cup o’noodles.

Renee Olstead: I think that there’s so much negativity out there on the internet. Even the stuff that’s positive, I’ve heard many of my friends write stuff like ‘oh my God, my life is so boring!’ It’s like look at my life. It’s like we all kind of post the highlights of our lives and we tend to critique the worst parts of other people. I think that it just brings negativity. So, the idea of it becoming something that comes after you is almost like a hard sell in a way because you’ve already personally have experienced negative things.

Q: We were talking with Nelson Greaves earlier about how if you delete something, it’s already out there. Have any of you had an experience and put something out there and been like ‘I gotta take that back’?

Courtney Halverson: Um…yeah, I definitely have left some snotty comments at like two in the morning and like the next day, tried to delete it but you know they already seen it. There is no wiping the slate clean on the internet anymore.  I think everyone is going to be a lot smarter about how they use it.

Q: Has this movie helped you second guess what you guys put on your social media? Would you want to be more private about your lives?

Jacob Wysocki: I feel like I’ve always been pretty smart and aware, like this isn’t the kind of place to f*** around, you know what I mean? I’ve always kind of treated it with trepidation and been like ‘be careful what you say.’ Now, I don’t think it’s change because of that.

Renee Olstead: I really don’t post anything. I will take a stand for what I believe in online, which is a risk but I stand by them but I definitely think there are things that you share, things that you don’t share. There’s private things that I do think that is not necessarily the most classiest thing to share with everyone if it’s something personal. Like if you’re promoting your movie or you’re having a great date with your boyfriend, that’s the sort of stuff that we all love to share but I do think that certain moments should stay personal.

Courtney Halverson: Yeah. Like putting other people on blast or like leaving obscure comments on Facebook.

Jacob Wysocki: Sub-tweets!

Courtney Halverson: Yeah! What is that about? It’s the worst. People should know better. Keep some things a mystery.

Unfriended comes to theaters April 17.

Check out our other Wondercon interview with the rest of the cast here.