Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Long Takes

Long takes are one of the most impressive aspects of cinema production. Requiring an enormous amount of preparation, the payoff, if performed correctly, is very inspiring. Whether the camera is locked down, or if there is movement, a one take can be a very powerful form of storytelling. A great example of a long take is in the Oscar-winning picture 12 Years a Slave. At one point in the film, the camera is locked down and the shot just holds on the subject for about a minute and a half. While this isn’t a very long time in terms of the length of the film, considering that the vast majority of the shots in the film aren’t more than 10 seconds, the length of the shot actually makes the viewer uncomfortable; considering the subject matter of the shot.

A second example of a wonderful long take that involves lots of movement, both with the camera and subject, is in the Netflix-produced show Daredevil. Emulating the original scene in Oldboy, the shot follows Matt Murdock a.k.a Daredevil down a hallway, traveling in and out of various rooms, beating numerous enemies to a pulp. Lasting a full 3 minutes, this is an incredibly impressive shot and one that is extremely difficult to pull off. Various articles covering the production of the shot reveal that there are multiple Daredevils that are actually used in the same shot.

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