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The Art of the Long Take

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Filmmaking Techniques, Cinematography, Classic Movies, Music Videos,

In filmmaking, a “long take” is a cinematographic technique where the director chooses to hold one continuous shot for an extended period of time. A famous scene in Goodfellas follows Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) as he and his girlfriend skip the line for a club, bribe the bouncer at the back entrance, walk through the kitchen and up to the stage, all without a single cut. Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tennenbaums has a great one, capturing a revealing moment for most of the characters in the film. I know of two full-length films, Timecode and Russian Ark, that take place entirely in one shot.

I was reminded of this technique watching a recent video for the pop band Goldfrapp. It’s not as ambitious as Goodfellas, or as revealing as The Royal Tennenbaums but it is fun. You can watch the video below.

(Thanks, Very Short List.)

steve thorngate_20
5/8/2008 11:39:32 AM

Nice. My favorite is Hitchcock's Rope, filmed in a faux single shot that's really a series of the longest shots technically possible at the time. http://sthorngate.blogspot.com


steve thorngate_19
5/8/2008 11:39:31 AM

Nice. My favorite is Hitchcock's Rope, filmed in a faux single shot that's really a series of the longest shots technically possible at the time. http://sthorngate.blogspot.com