PDA

View Full Version : Uninterrupted camera shots



III
12-19-2007, 10:01 PM
I admit, I geek out over long, uninterrupted camera shots in movies. Some of my favs:

The opening scene of Boogie Nights, panning from the street, through the Disco, into the kitchen.

The scene in Goodfellas where Henry walks Karen from the car, through the kitchen, and into the club.

Less spectacular but still amazing, the scene in Deathproof with the four girls eating at a diner, just talking.

Do I geek alone on this?

maxmordon
12-19-2007, 10:28 PM
Don't forget The Rope


In a website I know and I love this trope is called "Leave the camera running" here is the article about it:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LeaveTheCameraRunning

examples:

Film
2001: A Space Odyssey. Ooh, I went there.
The driving scenes at the start of Manos: The Hands of Fate, there because the director forgot the opening credits.
Every scene in the French movie Cache. The movie is about someone sending video of the guys apartment to him so we as the viewer are treated to two minute long shots of the characters watching video of an apartment building with people walking past. Other choice shots include three minutes of random kids swimming laps and two characters talking without audible dialog.
The movie Escape 2000 received the MST treatment. The original film begins with governmental Mooks implying residents to "Leave the Bronx!" They said it so many times, however, that alone it's a Leave The Camera Running and with Mike and the Bots riffing it becomes an Overly Long Gag.
The highway scene in Solaris.
The first Star Trek movie had that damn endless bit with the Enterprise flying over V'Ger while the cast stare awestruck at the screen. Obviously supposed to cause oohing and awwing, it generally just causes yawning. Note that in the DVD release they added some CGI sequences that give you a better idea of what V'Ger looks like, but it makes an overly long sequence even longer.
The rave from The Matrix Reloaded.
That, and the accompanying, ahem, extended "touching moment" between Neo and Trinity that was interspersed amid the raving. Some of this editor's classmates described it as "the sex scene that wouldn't end." These are adolescent males talking.)
Once Upon a Time in the West opens with three Mooks chasing away a ticketman at a train station, then waiting there, doing nothing, for most of ten minutes. Say what you will about some of Leone's other scenes, at least they had good music.

maestrowork
12-19-2007, 10:35 PM
I love long shots:

Children of Men -- there were two: one in the jeep when they were ambushed, and the other a 6-minute battle scene that is just mind-boggling.

Atonement -- a 5-minute uncut tracking shot through the devastation of Dunkirk.

The Player -- the opening shot through the backlot of a movie sound stage.

The Birdcage -- flying over water then to South Beach, FL then (with the help of CGI) into the nightclub then to the stage in one smooth shot

Panic Room -- a CG-enhanced shot through the house, into the kitchen, etc. etc. Really well-done and set the stage of the film perfectly.

Tiger
12-19-2007, 10:35 PM
"Ugetsu."

Husband comes home after absence to his home. Camera follows his stumbling walk around his house, and when he returns to the hearth, his wife (her ghost, anyway) is suddenly there cooking dinner. Way cool.

Bmwhtly
12-19-2007, 10:36 PM
You Are Not Alone!

The one that springs to mind is Serenity. Actually, they do the same thing in the pilot of Firefly. For the same reason.
Mal walks through the ship to give you an idea of the layout.

But, if you really geek out on long single camera takes, watch Children of Men (that's not the onl reason to watch it).
They do several really long takes. The more impressive thing is that they do it with action scenes.

ChunkyC
12-19-2007, 10:46 PM
I geek with thee, III!

I hate Hate HATE the 3-second cut herky-jerky vertigo-inducing camera work that passes for cinematography far too often these days. If the scene isn't exciting enough with the camera kept static, YOUR SCRIPT SUCKS!!! Shaking the camera won't make crap smell good.

I, for one, loved that long look at V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Some peeps forget that movie hit the big screen at a time when Pong was the state of the art in video games. I was awestruck by that and some of the other scenes in that film.

One of the best moments in the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie was after Superman rescued the cat from the tree and gave it to the little girl, then flew off. The shot wasn't that long, but the camera stayed perfectly still as Superman bent his knees a little, then eased into the air and floated away. It was beautifully done.

2001: A Space Odyssey had some good shots too. The Pan Am ship 'dancing' with the space station as it came in to dock ... incredible. I'd have to watch it again to see how long they held a shot before they cut to another angle, but the entire sequence was pretty long.

Thought of a really long one: the opening scene of Snake Eyes where Nicholas Cage arrives at the arena for the fight. The camera follows him all the way from outside to his seat at ringside and even through to the fight itself, if memory serves.

melaniehoo
12-19-2007, 10:47 PM
The scene in Goodfellas where Henry walks Karen from the car, through the kitchen, and into the club.


We studied that one in a film class. I love the long shots.

III
12-19-2007, 10:50 PM
Interesting - Children of Men (http://www.us.imdb.com/title/tt0206634/) slipped right by me. I remember hearing some buzz when it came out but I didn't see it and now I'm hearing great things about it. I'll have to rent it tonight.

And Ray, I thought about that scene from The Player, but couldn't remember which film it was. I kept thinking Bob Roberts cuz of Tim Robbins, but I knew that wasn't right.

How about another more benign scene - Emilio Estevez telling the story of why he hates his father as the camera slowly pans 180 degrees in The Breakfast Club.

Roger J Carlson
12-19-2007, 10:55 PM
I hate Hate HATE the 3-second cut herky-jerky vertigo-inducing camera work that passes for cinematography far too often these days. Can you say Bourne Ultimatum?

ChunkyC
12-19-2007, 10:56 PM
:D

Are you still dizzy from that one, Rog? I am, hehe.

III
12-19-2007, 11:00 PM
Even though it wasn't a single long camera shot, but a series of medium-length shots, the great diaper chase scene in Raising Arizona (one of the most brilliant movies evuh), merits mention. Son, you got a panty on your head.

Shadow_Ferret
12-19-2007, 11:01 PM
Wow. I haven't seen ANY of those films! No wonder I had no idea what III was talking about.

Except Star Trek, I saw that when it first came out and we DID ooh and aaah because at the time that was really cool looking. Now it's boring.

Roger J Carlson
12-19-2007, 11:06 PM
I, for one, loved that long look at V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Some peeps forget that movie hit the big screen at a time when Pong was the state of the art in video games. I was awestruck by that and some of the other scenes in that film.I agree about V'ger, but the long, drawn out first shot of the Enterprise in that movie was boring. All it said to me was, "Hey, we spend a ton of money on making this model and we want to get our money's worth."

Shadow_Ferret
12-19-2007, 11:09 PM
I agree about V'ger, but the long, drawn out first shot of the Enterprise in that movie was boring. All it said to me was, "Hey, we spend a ton of money on making this model and we want to get our money's worth."
Actually, for those of us who'd waited over a decade to see the Enterprise fly again, that scene was "coming home."

Roger J Carlson
12-19-2007, 11:11 PM
Actually, for those of us who'd waited over a decade to see the Enterprise fly again, that scene was "coming home."Hey, I was one of those, too. But I would rather have seen it do something than float around it for ten minutes, up one side and down the other.

III
12-19-2007, 11:12 PM
I agree about V'ger, but the long, drawn out first shot of the Enterprise in that movie was boring. All it said to me was, "Hey, we spend a ton of money on making this model and we want to get our money's worth."

You're thinking of the beginning of Spaceballs :)

ChunkyC
12-19-2007, 11:24 PM
I loved the Enterprise fly-by too. That's the Scotty in me talking, though. I loves me my machines. :)

MidnightMuse
12-19-2007, 11:28 PM
Best one evah is in Serenity - camera follows Mal from the cockpit, through the ship all the way down to the hold, speaking to several crewmembers on the way and having an arguement halfway through down to the hold. It was our first real understanding of the entire inner bits of the Firefly, and the dialog went completely unbroken.

'Twas a beautiful thing.

Shadow_Ferret
12-19-2007, 11:32 PM
You're thinking of the beginning of Spaceballs :)
Would the opening scene in Star Wars where we see the humungous cruiser go by and then the little transport go by, would that count as an uninterrupted camera shot? Because that was pretty cool, too.

Tiger
12-19-2007, 11:33 PM
"Did a piece just fly off my gorram ship?"

ChunkyC
12-19-2007, 11:40 PM
Best one evah is in Serenity - camera follows Mal from the cockpit, through the ship all the way down to the hold, speaking to several crewmembers on the way and having an arguement halfway through down to the hold. It was our first real understanding of the entire inner bits of the Firefly, and the dialog went completely unbroken.

'Twas a beautiful thing.
That was a great scene. :)

maestrowork
12-19-2007, 11:50 PM
Magnolia: the TV studio shot.

III
12-19-2007, 11:58 PM
Magnolia: the TV studio shot.

Yup - Robert Elswit (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005696/filmoyear) is a brillaint cinematographer. I can't wait to see his work on There Will Be Blood (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0469494/).

maestrowork
12-20-2007, 12:04 AM
I saw the preview of There Will Be Blood -- looks AWESOME. Some even say it's going to be Best Picture frontrunner, together with No Country for Old Men and Atonement.

III
12-20-2007, 12:09 AM
I saw the preview of There Will Be Blood -- looks AWESOME. Some even say it's going to be Best Picture frontrunner, together with No Country for Old Men and Atonement.

I admit I didn't like Daniel Day-Lewis at first, but since his performance as Bill the Butcher I think he's awesome. This looks like another stellar, 3-D evil character for him. If Paul Thomas Anderson can keep from being too self-indulgent, this looks like it could be a really special movie.

Zelenka
12-20-2007, 12:24 AM
There's a really great piece called 'Nine Lives', nine little short films all together, and each one is done as one continuous shot, about ten or fifteen minutes long. Fabulous piece of cinema.

maestrowork
12-20-2007, 03:47 AM
OMG, how could I have forgotten Russian Ark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Ark)! The longest single-shot in history -- the ENTIRE movie (90 minutes) is a single steady-cam shot. Is the story interesting? It's up to you to decide, but as far as single-shot is concerned, nothing beats it. The images/set/etc. were stunning.

ChunkyC
12-20-2007, 04:57 AM
I was gonna say there was a music video from one of the guitar players from Styx that was done in one shot, but now it seems kinda lame.... ;)

ChaosTitan
12-20-2007, 05:41 AM
In the final season of "Third Watch," they did an episode that ran exactly like a stage play. One major location, real time storytelling. Five acts, plus the opening teaser. All six segments were single, long shots. Scenes between ten and fourteen minutes, no cuts, constant action with the actors and scenery and props.

It took two commercial breaks before I realized what was going on. It was amazing (another reason I can't wait for this series to come out on DVD).

clockwork
12-20-2007, 06:07 AM
OMG, how could I have forgotten Russian Ark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Ark)! The longest single-shot in history -- the ENTIRE movie (90 minutes) is a single steady-cam shot. Is the story interesting? It's up to you to decide, but as far as single-shot is concerned, nothing beats it. The images/set/etc. were stunning.

Ya beat me to it, Ray. :)

I can't say for sure that I knew what was going on in Russian Ark but I found it utterly spellbinding none the less.

Sergio Leone wasn't afraid to leave his camera running. I remember long, single shot scenes in all three of the Eastwood films.

There's a decent floating single shot in Kill Bill Vol 1, as The Bride cruises around the House of Blue Leaves.

I suppose it depends on how you classify a single shot. Does CG-aided count? Russian Ark pulled it off without any blends or composites but if CG-generated shots are allowed, surely the longest (in terms of distance travelled) is the opening of Contact which starts at Earth and pulls back to the edge of the universe. :)

There's a couple of other neat ones (in less neat films) like the Dawn of the Dead remake and the wonderful opening shot of *ahem* Hard Rain.

III
01-02-2008, 03:47 AM
OKAY! We finally watched Children of Men last night after many recommendations from this board. WOW. What an innovative, meticulously executed movie. My heart soared at the lack of green screen. I thought the scene with the flaming car was mind-blowing cinemetography . . . until that uninterrupted (8 minute?) scene running through the DMZ with squibs and explosions. Talk about raising the bar in pure movie-making magic. What vision and courage that director had. The only thing that would have made the movie better is if I could understand more than 25% of what was being said, but I think I got the gyst of it :D

Bmwhtly
01-03-2008, 07:41 AM
OKAY! We finally watched Children of Men last night after many recommendations from this board. WOW. What an innovative, meticulously executed movie. My heart soared at the lack of green screen. I thought the scene with the flaming car was mind-blowing cinemetography . . . until that uninterrupted (8 minute?) scene running through the DMZ with squibs and explosions. Talk about raising the bar in pure movie-making magic. What vision and courage that director had. The only thing that would have made the movie better is if I could understand more than 25% of what was being said, but I think I got the gyst of it :DThere's a really interesting bit on the special features about how they filmed that flaming car bit. Keeping the camera in the middle of the car shooting at all angles and whatnot.

What about the first scene? he comes out of the coffee shop, down the street. Blammo! timed with the MC, passers-by and the traffic. Marvellous!

Fox The Cave
01-05-2008, 08:53 AM
There's a great one of Ari in an episode of Entourage - when he trashes the party being thrown by Adam Davies and totally humiliates him. Great episode, brilliant scene.

gp101
01-05-2008, 02:02 PM
Wow, no one mentioned the opening to Touch of Evil? Not the longest single shot ever, but one of the most studied and appreciated. Freakin awesome.

The Birdcage opening long shot is also cool, but fake... still like it though.

Pulp Fiction... the "Explaining the watch" scene. Though there may be a quick cut to the spellbound little boy, I forget.

Lots of good long shots in Sergio's spaghetti westerns.

Fox The Cave
01-09-2008, 06:09 AM
^There's another great long steadicam shot in Pulp Fiction too - when Vince and Jules are walking towards the apartment at the beginning. From the elevator to them knocking on the door, one great shot.

ChaosTitan
01-09-2008, 07:52 AM
I didn't realize this until I watched the commentary track, but there's a single shot at the beginning of Saw II that I always thought was an edit. It starts with Eric Mathews getting a phone call, putting on his coat, walking through a door...right into a crime scene hallway where his partner is waiting for a walk-n-talk. It was a single shot, the two sets right next to each other.

I thought it was pretty cool.

benbradley
01-09-2008, 08:21 AM
This isn't a movie, but it's two minutes of actual unedited video, no CGI or nothing (is CGI cheating?). It's probably too long to have ever been shown on TV, but it was the talk of the net about four years ago:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=xcr6ZIVi-Vg
Regrettably, they went through all that and didn't even credit Rube Goldberg.

And yes, the other extreme, the apparently-MTV-originated thing where no camera shot lasts for more than three seconds is just purely annoying. Maybe if I were a quarter century younger (I was already in my 20's when MTV started) I'd think it was the bee's knees (or whatever the equivalent saying is now ... oh, what ever...)

maestrowork
01-16-2008, 08:14 AM
My friend, who worked on the film Time Code, just reminded me of, well, Time Code. :) It was four one-shot takes, simultaneously, and all four are presented on screen at the same time. It sure was an interesting experiment but I personally don't think it worked. However, if you get a chance to see it, you may appreciate what the filmmakers tried to do...

Mr Flibble
01-16-2008, 02:05 PM
I have to agree with Children of Men, awesome film and great uncut fight scene, although items were CG'd later, and it was shot in four locations so does that count?

But I have to say I loved the one in Warrior King. Tony Jaa fights his way up several floors - a four minute plus scene, no wires, no doubles, that really shows just how good he is ( along with several other fight scenes in there) if you were in any doubt after Ong Bak. He had to do the take six times ( due to props not breaking etc). No wonder he looks knackered at the end.

BarbaraKE
01-16-2008, 04:39 PM
There's a really great piece called 'Nine Lives', nine little short films all together, and each one is done as one continuous shot, about ten or fifteen minutes long. Fabulous piece of cinema.

You beat me to it, I was going to mention this one also.

(If you look at our avatars, you'll see why Jess & I both saw this film. :D )

BiggerBoat
01-17-2008, 08:14 AM
The newest version of Pride & Prejudice had several very long tracking shots. I remember one specifically at the beginning (following Kiera Knightley's character up a path, then leaving her to move through the front door of a house, then back out again at the side). I think there was also some fairly long shots in the ball, which must have been tough to orchestrate.

maestrowork
01-17-2008, 09:30 AM
Yes, P & P -- the opening shot is one long shot, just not that long-- maybe 2 minutes? And a really well-choreographed long shot at the ball, definitely -- and I was actually impressed by that shot just because there were so many different characters (Joe Wright showed all the main characters in that shot, all doing their things) and characterizations (so it wasn't just one pointless shot) and it was transparent... eventually leading it back to Elizabeth Bennett as she lamented about what happened between her and Darcy.

Joe Wright did it again in Atonement -- the 5-minute Dunkirk scene is the talk of the town now. Really well done.

maestrowork
01-20-2008, 04:22 AM
Just saw this... pretty cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K06wDn3XsZE

stc
01-22-2008, 08:32 AM
gp101:
"Wow, no one mentioned the opening to Touch of Evil? Not the longest single shot ever, but one of the most studied and appreciated. Freakin awesome."

Probably the greatest, most studied, and most imitated shot in film history. Unbelievable. And difficult! Orchestrating all those people and cars... and: "cue the goats!"

That's not the only long continuous shot in the film. The Sanchez interrogation scene in the house is continuous too--subtler than the opening shot, but according to Welles, almost as difficult. Crew was moving the walls around.

One of the greatest films ever...

Straka
01-24-2008, 10:21 PM
Wow, no one mentioned the opening to Touch of Evil? Not the longest single shot ever, but one of the most studied and appreciated.

As I was reading this thread I was suprised no one mention it. Its not just a shot that is long for the sake of being impressive but sets up the entire plot of the movie.

Actually when I saw it in the theatre they messed it up and had the top of the screen on the bottom. I can tell you that people were freaking out about it.

III
01-24-2008, 10:27 PM
Just saw this... pretty cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K06wDn3XsZE

Man, Ray you beat the TAR out of those waiters!

Will Lavender
01-25-2008, 12:01 AM
Got in late here.

Anybody mention Hitchcock's Rope?

maestrowork
01-25-2008, 01:01 AM
Man, Ray you beat the TAR out of those waiters!

They overcharged me by two bucks.