Revealed: The filmmaking trick behind that epic continuous shot in “Birdman”

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I wish this was saved from the editors chopping block…


Is that White Snake and Green Snake? I am going to need to check that out!

ETA: Indeed it is! Answering my own question, the movie is “The Sorcerer and the White Snake”

Tsui Hark’s “Green Snake” is one of my favorite Hong Kong films of the 1990s. This newer one seems based upon some of the same mythology, but different enough that I might be able to enjoy it for its own merits without comparing them unduly.


I love long takes like this.

De Palma likes them a lot.

Always struggle to find the one from Snake Eyes when I look for it.

Also Mike Figgis’ 4-films-at-once Timecode (which was rubbish)

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The only version of Touch of Evil I’ve seen is the “Director’s” cut, where the opening sequence only uses ambient music. It’s fantastic.

I thought the long take of the battle scene in Children of Men was really good.

As well as the hallway fight in the new Daredevil. I really like how it went up and down like it did.


Another single-shot film is “The Russian Ark”: (2002) They did it the hard way: digital cameras, a single shot, 99 minutes. Filmed entirely in the Hermitage Museum, they were allowed only one day for the shoot. It took four takes.


I watched that recently, as I worked through these:

That scene from Children of Men is one of my all time favourites! I love this one too


This is gonna sound absurd, but also, the Spice Girls’ first video does the same thing, albeit for only three minutes.
Gotta give props for having at least some minor ambition. You can see them looking over their shoulders as they walk backwards, trying not to bang into stuff…

Edit: okay, the, um, Spice Girls wiki reveals that there are apparently a couple of edits in that vid. Scratch that so.
Hey, there’s always Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues video, although I don’t recall him doing quite so many backflips on tables. And viral faves OK Go apparently have one as well.

Well, if we’re going for single takes in music videos, how about Slow Club - “It Doesn’t Have to Be Beautiful”

I’m surprised that there was no mention of Running Time: . If you’re a Bruce Campbell fan it is worth a watch (not to mention the ‘continuous shot’ thing going for it).

And (another set of tricks, but still has the effect of a long take)…

And I THINK this one is real – twice!

I wonder what Gondry is doing these days.


Love his videos.

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You should watch Victoria. Several directors, five main cast (and loads of extras), 22 locations. The film starts something after 4AM and finishes something after 7AM. It is really all filmed in one shot. There are no cuts. It’s apparently at cinemas in the US now:


Whut? Nobody mentioned the long shot(s) in Citizen Kane?

One of my favorites is in Kill Bill, leading up to the fight scene at the bar in Japan.

There’s at least one spot where they could have done a cut, no one really seems to know for sure if it actually is or not. But regardless I love the way the camera floats around the scenery.

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