Recording an entire movie in a single take is possible and these movies achieved it

Making a movie in a single take is not easy, you just need absolutely everything to be absolutely perfect and that’s it.

Some films have achieved this, but it requires incredible preparation and precision.

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Cinema, since its beginnings, has always looked for ways to captivate its audience in different ways, starting with sound and color until finally making the audience end up wondering how they managed to do what they are seeing. Without a doubt, this is cinematic magic, an illusion that manages to keep viewers glued to their seats.

AND One of the most intriguing ways to captivate the viewer is through long takes. And of course, there are many long takes that are a visual spectacle, like those in The Shining or Call Me By Your Name. But what if, instead of a shot lasting just a few minutes, the shot was long enough to last the entire movie? Movies like 1917 by Sam Mendes, one of Netlix’s best war films have achieved this, providing an element of immersion and depth which is very difficult to achieve, as if you were being guided by the director throughout the entire film.

However, most of it was not filmed in one take, they just used the magic of editing


The reality is that one of the perfect examples of the one-shot wasn’t actually filmed in one take.

1917 is Sam Mendes’ interpretation of the World War I battlefield, where two young soldiers find themselves desperately racing against the clock to save their comrades.

On the other hand, another good example is birdmanby Alejandro González Iñárritu, an award-winning black comedy as Best Film that is about the return of a desperate failed actor.

Both productions manage to transmit different emotions in the same way.. In 1917, runs alongside Will Schofield and Tom Blake as death and violence pursues them, the agitation is such that the few minutes of rest feel like a blessing. Meanwhile in birdmanwe managed to stay in the scattered mind of Riggan Thomson through the oneshot.

However, it is not the only thing that these films have in common, leaving aside the performances and the moving story, These films take advantage of the trick of stealth editing. Something that Hitchcock did at the time with Rope (1948), where he wanted to emulate a long take. But for this, they devise Clever tactics in which cuts are maskedlike a color combination with a character’s dark hair, for example.

Nowadays it is not much different. So much birdman as 1917 They manage to hide the cuts with motion blurswapping out the solid color blocking for some more choreography and planning, ultimately transporting us to a battlefield or a bustling city in a “single shot.”

Some movies were recorded in a single take.

Of course, there is another way to make a movie look like it was made in one take, and that is, well, to make it in one take. In this case, reality is more recent than the illusion, but Now it is possible to make an authentic movie in a single take thanks to digital camerasunlike Hitchcock who had 10 minutes of film available.

But Just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s easy.. However, Russian Ark (2002) a historical experimental piece, and Boils (2021)a visit to a nightmare kitchen, they achieved it masterfully.


Hierve is perfect for achieving the goal of capturing everything in a single shot.

Boil, directed by Philip Barantini, has the perfect conditions to be recorded in a single take. It’s an intimate setting, a real London restaurant. This unique, closed location allows you to work with a smaller castwhich makes it easier to rehearse, direct and choreograph.

While the camera follows the sous-chefs and stressed-out waiters moving throughout the building in a continuous shot. And although it did not go as expected, because the COVID-19 pandemic only allowed them to carry out four of the eight planned shots, they still achieved one of the best dramas of 2021, transmitting the claustrophobia that is exasperated with the audience and the characters. Something similar to The Bear, one of the best series of all time.

Russian Ark

A real challenge that left us with a masterpiece

And while filming an entire movie in one take in a restaurant is already difficult, now imagine offering a grand tour of both St. Petersburg’s Winter Palace and Russian history. For Russian Ark was used an uninterrupted Steadicam sequence and a cast of more than two thousand peoplewith three orchestras playing in the 33 rooms displayed in the museum.

A single error and the entire production had to be restarted and try again once more. Additionally, due to natural light and battery limitations, only four shots were possible. Luckily, the last one ended up being a success.

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