Searching became a dominant force in 2018 as a mystery-thriller that undeniably forged its own path in the quasi-found-footage-Esque genre, having to overcome a lot of previously explored techniques and styles.
By then amassing more than $70 million dollars during its impressive theatrical run, an eventual follow-up was announced, thus raising the bar for the spiritual sequel to be just as innovative, if not more, than its first installment. Having found a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and just more than enough to recoup its budget (after an opening weekend, nonetheless), it would appear that Missing is finding its footing and making all the right moves.
During a new interview with /Film and filmmakers Will Merrick and Nick Johnson (who built each digital asset for the film), Johnson talked about why they chose to return to a challenging style of filmmaking by sharing, "Well, first of all, we love the format. Even as exhausted as we were after it was done, we love the format because we spent so much time developing the language of it. We felt — it's like our baby. We definitely felt like there was more visual stuff that we left on the table that we wanted to play with."
The Rewarding (but Complicated) Journey of Missing and Searching
He then goes on to further clarify, "And also, I have this distinct memory when I was editing Searching where I was like, 'Man, I'm never going to be able to work on something with this much creative control in the editing process.' I'm not an animator. I'm not going to go make — literally be animating a Pixar movie in the future. To be able to have an idea for a camera move or a mouse movement or something fun to put in the background is such a great experience. And I really, in the moment, remember thinking, 'I'm going to miss this,' genuinely thinking, 'I'll never ever do this again. This is a horribly painful process.' But then when we got the opportunity to do it, it was honestly a privilege to work on it again because it really is fun to polish something on that level."
Missing is currently in theaters, starring Storm Reid, Nia Long, Joaquim de Almeida, Ken Leung, Amy Landecker, Daniel Henney, Megan Suri, and Tim Griffin, produced by Natalie Qasabian, Sev Ohanian, and Aneesh Chaganty.