I have long been an admirer of the single shot, also known as the one shot, in movies. One strong memory I have of an amazing one shot is from the 1951 movie Red Badge of Courage, when the young soldier is being walked through the camp by a seasoned veteran. The shot seems to go on forever. Just imagine the rehearsal time needed to perfect that scene!
Another favorite are two single shot sequences in “Shaun of the Dead.” The first is Shaun walking through his neighborhood on a normal morning. The second is Shaun taking the same route after all hell has broken loose. The mastery of getting everything just right is evident again.
My favorite single shot is in “Children of Men” during the apocalyptic fight scene at the end. It runs about 7:00 minutes. There’s a great interview on You Tube with Director Alfonso Courón discussing his use of long takes in this film. See Interview with Director of \”Children of Men\”
Recently, I had the good luck of shooting a one-shot of my own. It was of a half time show on February 6, 2010, at the Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, NC. I was filming a group of 230 Zumba dancers from various Zumba classes in and around the Charlotte area. I had full access to the floor, my only constraint being that I could not allow the Bobcats’ or the NBA’s logos to show up in the video.
I was wearing my varizoom support system for my HVX200A Panasonic camera, along with a zoom/focus controller. (FYI-I shot the sequence in HD, using a P2 card to capture the footage.) It was my first time out using the varizoom rig and I loved it.
The shot runs for 6:46. I did get a chance to do two complete run-throughs during a rehearsal earlier that afternoon. Still, there’s nothing quite like the pressure of knowing you have only one chance to get a shot right!
I’d love to get your comments on it. Take a look:
Till my next post, it’s Docudramaqueen saying happy shooting!
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