Long take

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In filmmaking, a long take is a shot lasting much longer than the conventional editing pace either of the film itself or of films in general. Significant camera movement and elaborate blocking are often elements in long takes, but not necessarily so. The term "long take" should not be confused with the term "long shot", which refers to the distance between the camera and its subject and not to the temporal length of the shot itself. The length of a long take was originally limited to how much film a motion picture camera could hold, but the advent of digital video has considerably lengthened the maximum potential length of a take.

Filmmaking is the process of making a film, generally in the sense of films intended for extensive theatrical exhibition. Filmmaking involves a number of discrete stages including an initial story, idea, or commission, through screenwriting, casting, shooting, sound recording and pre-production, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a film release and exhibition. Filmmaking takes place in many places around the world in a range of economic, social, and political contexts, and using a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques. Typically, it involves a large number of people, and can take from a few months to several years to complete.

Long shot

In photography, filmmaking and video production, a long shot typically shows the entire object or human figure and is usually intended to place it in some relation to its surroundings. These are typically shot now using wide-angle lenses. However, due to sheer distance, establishing shots and extremely wide shots can use almost any camera type.

Digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images (video) in the form of encoded digital data. This is in contrast to analog video, which represents moving visual images with analog signals. Digital video comprises a series of digital images displayed in rapid succession.

Contents

Examples

When filming Rope (1948), Alfred Hitchcock intended for the film to have the effect of one long continuous take, but the cameras available could hold no more than 1000 feet of 35 mm film. As a result, each take used up to a whole roll of film and lasts up to 10 minutes. Many takes end with a dolly shot to a featureless surface (such as the back of a character's jacket), with the following take beginning at the same point by zooming out. The entire film consists of only 11 shots. [1] [lower-alpha 1]

<i>Rope</i> (film) 1948 film by Alfred Hitchcock

Rope is a 1948 American psychological crime thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton. The film was adapted by Hume Cronyn with a screenplay by Arthur Laurents.

Alfred Hitchcock British filmmaker

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was an English film director and producer, widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as "the Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing of the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965).

Andy Warhol and collaborating avant-garde filmmaker, Jonas Mekas, shot the 485-minute-long experimental film, Empire (1964), on 10 rolls of film using an Auricon camera via 16mm film which allowed longer takes than its 35 mm counterpart. "The camera took a 1,200ft roll of film that would shoot for roughly 33 minutes." [3]

Andy Warhol American artist

Andy Warhol was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental film Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).

Avant-garde works that are experimental or innovative

The avant-garde are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. It may be characterized by nontraditional, aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability, and it may offer a critique of the relationship between producer and consumer.

Jonas Mekas Lithuanian filmmaker

Jonas Mekas was a Lithuanian American filmmaker, poet, and artist who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema". His work has been exhibited in museums and at festivals worldwide.

A handful of theatrically released feature films, such as Timecode (2000), Russian Ark (2002), PVC-1 (2007), and Victoria (2015) are filmed in one single take; others are composed entirely from a series of long takes, while many more may be well known for one or two specific long takes within otherwise more conventionally edited films. In 2012, the art collective The Hut Project produced The Look of Performance, a digital film shot in a single 360° take lasting 3 hours, 33 minutes and 8 seconds. The film was shot at 50 frames per second, meaning the final exhibited work lasts 7 hours, 6 minutes and 17 seconds. [4]

<i>Russian Ark</i> 2002 film by Alexander Sokurov

Russian Ark is a 2002 experimental historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. It was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum on 23 December 2001 using a one-take single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot. The film was entered into the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

<i>PVC-1</i> 2007 film by Spiros Stathoulopoulos

PVC-1 is a 2007 Colombian drama film directed by Spiros Stathoulopoulos. The plot was inspired by a true story about a pipe bomb improvised explosive device (IED) that was placed around the neck of an extortion victim. The name came from the PVC pipes used for the explosive device. This directorial debut premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2007 as an official selection of the Directors' Fortnight. The 84-minute film was shot in one single continuous take without cuts using a Glidecam Smooth Shooter and a Glidecam 2000 Pro camera stabilization system. The film won numerous awards at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival.

<i>Victoria</i> (2015 film) 2015 film

Victoria is a 2015 German crime thriller film directed by Sebastian Schipper and starring Laia Costa and Frederick Lau. It is one of the few feature films shot in a single continuous take.

The police procedural series The Bill used long takes to achieve a documentary style effect. [5] Other examples include The X-Files episode "Triangle" (season 6, episode 3), directed (and written) by the series creator Chris Carter. The technique is also frequently used in ER , which fits with the show's use of Steadicam for the majority of shots. An episode "The Inheritance / C.I.D. 111" of the Indian suspense drama C.I.D. , broadcast on 7 November 2004, is a 111-minute-long single take. It currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest single shot for TV.

<i>The Bill</i> British police procedural television series

The Bill is a British police procedural television series, first broadcast on ITV from 16 October 1984 until 31 August 2010. The programme originated from a one-off drama, Woodentop, broadcast in August 1983.

<i>The X-Files</i> American science fiction TV series

The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter. The original television series aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox. The program spanned nine seasons, with 202 episodes. A short tenth season consisting of six episodes premiered on January 24, 2016, and concluded on February 22, 2016. Following the ratings success of this revival, Fox announced in April 2017 that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes. The season premiered on January 3, 2018, concluding on March 21, 2018. In addition to the television series, two feature films have been released: The 1998 film The X-Files, which took place as part of the TV series continuity, and the stand-alone film The X-Files: I Want to Believe, released in 2008, six years after the original television run had ended.

"Triangle" is the third episode of the sixth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on November 22, 1998. Written and directed by series creator Chris Carter, "Triangle" is a "Monster-of-the-Week" episode, a stand-alone plot which is unconnected to the overarching mythology of The X-Files. "Triangle" earned a Nielsen household rating of 10.8, being watched by 18.20 million viewers in its initial broadcast. The episode generally received positive reviews with many critics commenting on the episode's directing style.

Another example from television can be seen in the first season of HBO's True Detective . In episode four, "Seeing Things", protagonist Detective Rustin Cohle (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey) is undercover as part of a biker gang who have decided to brazenly rob a drug den located in a dangerous neighborhood. The shot begins with the bikers arriving to the drug den with McConaughey's character reluctantly in tow. The six-minute shot moves in and out of various residences, through several blocks and over a fence while shots are fired by shouting gangsters, bikers and police as they arrive on the scene. McConaughey at first assists the biker gang, then turns on them to abduct the leader, dragging him along for more than half of the continuous shot. [6] Director Cary Fukunaga commented to The Guardian, "We required the involvement of every single department, like a live theatre show. We had make-up artists hiding in houses so they could dash out and put make-up on [Cohle's hostage] Ginger's head. We panned away for a second to do that. We also had ADs peppered around the neighborhood with extras who had specific things to yell and specific places to run. We had stunt guys coordinating with stunt drivers to pull up at the right time, special-effects guys outside throwing foam bricks and firing live rounds." [7]

HBO American pay television network

HBO is an American premium cable and satellite television network owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia. The programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television shows, along with made-for-cable movies, documentaries and occasional comedy and concert specials.

<i>True Detective</i> American TV series

True Detective is an American anthology crime drama television series created and written by Nic Pizzolatto. The series, broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States, premiered on January 12, 2014. Each season of the series is structured as a disparate, self-contained narrative, employing new cast ensembles, and following various sets of characters and settings.

Rust Cohle Philosphy Professor

Rustin Spencer "Rust" Cohle is a fictional character in the first season of the anthology crime drama television series True Detective on HBO. He was created by series creator Nic Pizzolatto and is portrayed by Matthew McConaughey. Cohle works as a detective for the Louisiana State Homicide Unit, alongside his partner Martin "Marty" Hart. The season follows Cohle and Hart's hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana, across 17 years.

The John Wick series of films are known for their long take fight scenes. This was due to the budgetary constraints of using only a single high-end camera for all the filming, and required close choreography with the various extras involved in the fights, having to run behind the camera after being one of the first fallen attackers as to come in again as a new attacker. [8]

Sequence shot

A sequence shot is a long take that constitutes an entire scene. Such a shot may involve sophisticated camera movement. It is sometimes called by the French term plan-séquence. The use of the sequence shot allows for realistic or dramatically significant background and middle ground activity. Actors range about the set transacting their business while the camera shifts focus from one plane of depth to another and back again. Significant off-frame action is often followed with a moving camera, characteristically through a series of pans within a single continuous shot. An example of this is the first scene in the jury room of 12 Angry Men , where the jurors are getting settled into the room.

Another notable example occurs near the beginning of Antonioni's The Passenger, when Jack Nicholson exchanges passport photos while the audience hears a tape recording of an earlier conversation with a now dead man, and then the camera pans (no cut) to that earlier scene.

Another example is the famous "Copacabana shot" featured in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990), in which Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) takes his girlfriend to a nightclub passing through the kitchen.

Average shot length

Films can be quantitatively analyzed using the "ASL" ( average shot length ), a statistical measurement which divides the total length of the film by the number of shots. For example, Béla Tarr's film Werckmeister Harmonies is 149 minutes, and made up of 39 shots. [9] Thus its ASL is 229.2 seconds.

The ASL is a relatively recent measure, devised by film scholar Barry Salt in the 1970s as a method of statistically analyzing the editing patterns both of individual films and of groups of films (for example, of the films made by a particular director or made in a particular period). Film scholars who have made use of ASL in their work include David Bordwell and Yuri Tsivian. Tsivian used the ASL as a tool for his analysis of D. W. Griffith's Intolerance (ASL 5.9 seconds) in a 2005 article. [10] Tsivian also helped launch a website called Cinemetrics, where visitors can measure, record, and read ASL statistics.

Directors known for long takes

Continuous shot full feature films

A "one-shot feature film" (also called "continuous shot feature film") is a full-length movie filmed in one long take by a single camera, or manufactured to give the impression that it was. Given the extreme difficulty of the exercise and the technical requirements for a long lasting continuous shot, such full feature films have only been possible since the advent of digital movie cameras.

See also

Notes

Footnotes
  1. For a complete analysis of Hitchcock's hidden and conventional cuts in Rope, see David Bordwell's text in "Poetics of Cinema", 2008 [2]
References
  1. Miller, D. A. "Anal Rope" in Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories, pp. 119–172. Routledge, 1991. ISBN   0-415-90237-1
  2. Bordwell, David. "From Shriek to Shot". Poetics of Cinema (Paperback; 2007 ed.). Routledge. p. 32+. ISBN   0415977797.
  3. Cripps, Charlotte (10 October 2006). "Preview: Warhol, The Film-Maker: 'Empire, 1964', Coskun Fine Art, London". The Independent. London.
  4. The Hut Project. "The Look of Performance". Archived from the original on 12 May 2012.
  5. "TV Tropes: The Oner".
  6. "Seitz: Why True Detective's 6-Minute Tracking Shot Is More Than Just 'Awesome'". Vulture. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  7. Fukunaga, Cary (17 March 2014). "How we got the shot: Cary Fukunaga on True Detective's tracking shot". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  8. Pappademos, Alex (15 April 2019). "The Legend of Keanu Reeves". GQ . Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  9. "RogerEbert.com : Great Movies: Werckmeister Harmonies". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  10. Yuri Tsivian, in The Griffith Project: Vol. 9: Films Produced in 1916–1918, Paolo Cherchi Usai (ed.), text at Cinemetrics.
  11. "Chantal Akerman". Filmref.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Coyle, Jake (29 December 2007). "'Atonement' brings the long tracking shot back into focus". Boston Globe. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  13. Greg Gilman. ‘One Tree Hill’ Director Completes World’s First One-Shot Rom-Com (Exclusive). Netflix. The Wrap. Retrieved 24 December 2013
  14. "Carl Theodor Dreyer". Filmref.com. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  15. Hughes, Darren. "Senses of Cinema: Bruno Dumont's Bodies". Archive.sensesofcinema.com. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  16. Frey, Mattias. "Michael Haneke". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  17. Hou Hsiao-hsien: Long Take and Neorealism Archived 14 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  18. Derek Malcolm (14 August 2003). "Silent Witness". London: Film.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  19. http://www.geekweek.com/2010/01/20-greatest-extended-takes-in-movie-history.html
  20. Billson, Anne (15 September 2011). "Take it or leave it: the long shot". The Guardian. London.
  21. Rafferty, Terrence (14 September 2008). "David Lean, Perfectionist of Madness". The New York Times.
  22. Sergio Leone, Father of spaghetti westerns Archived 26 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  23. Steve McQueen's long shot in 'Hunger' is paying off, Los Angeles Times, 22 March 2009.
  24. Hughes, Darren. "Tsai Ming-Liang". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  25. "Camera Movement and the Long Take". Filmreference.com. 6 May 1902. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  26. "Focus on Play Director Ruben Östlund". European Parliament/LUX prize. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  27. Tag Archives: David Lean
  28. https://www.secondshow.co.in/angamaly-diaries-climax-1000-artists-11-minutes-single-shot/
  29. Fujiwara, Chris. "Senses of Cinema: Otto Preminger". Archive.sensesofcinema.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  30. Colliding with history in La Bete Humaine: Reading Renoir's Cinecriture
  31. Lim, Dennis (4 June 2006). "An Elusive All-Day Film and the Bug-Eyed Few Who Have Seen It". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  32. "The Sixth Sense". Chicago Sun-Times. 6 August 1999.
  33. "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – IMAX Featurette [HD]".
  34. Halligan, Benjamin (11 September 2001). "The Remaining Second World: Sokurov and Russian Ark | Senses of Cinema". Archive.sensesofcinema.com. Archived from the original on 12 March 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  35. "The Spielberg Oner – One Scene, One Shot". Tony Zhou. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  36. Cain, Maximilian Le. "Andrei Tarkovsky". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  37. "Strictly Film School: Béla Tarr". Filmref.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  38. "Rob Tregenza Interview". Cinemaparallel.com. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  39. Brunner, Vera. "Phantoms of Liberty: Apichatpong Weerasethakul edited by James Quandt". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  40. "Steadicam Shot".
  41. Lee, Kevin. "Jia Zhangke". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 29 January 2012.

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References