February 6, 2017 at 7:39PM


How on earth do filmmakers fake a film being one continuous shot?!

I'm going to be starting a short film this spring, and the vision I have for it involves very few cuts if possible. I want it to appear to be one continuous shot, in a way so that the audience can almost feel like they're following the characters around. The only problem is, how on earth do you sneak cuts into the film without it being noticeable?! Any tips would be most appreciated.


Hitchcock used tricks like panning across a blank wall, pausing on an inanimate object etc. to create places to cut. I seem to remember watching a movie a few years ago that genuinely WAS shot in its entirety on a hand-held video camera as a single continuous shot. That took a LOT of rehearsal and coordination from crew because it spanned several time periods. You can look to stage plays to get further inspiration because those are done in front of a live audience, no retakes.

Not quite the same thing, but on the first film I produced (and I mean actual film), I did two takes of an establishing shot with the cast entering a room while the camera pans from a CU of a stuffed buffalo head across the room to an extreme wide shot. I liked the second half of the first take better but the first half of the second take. The shots were close enough that I was able to soft-blend from one take to another without being too obvious. If you have a motion control rig, that sort of thing gets A LOT easier.

February 7, 2017 at 4:13AM


- Blocking the lens with something, like a person wearing black, can give you that 1 frame to cut to the next shots that starts with the same person wearing the same clothes.
To give you a silly example of this technique (although not used to cut for continuity, but used a few times as a fun way to cut: https://youtu.be/7dtc39zVwMU?t=32 )

- Like Stephan says: a uniform surface.
- Moving behind an object that covers the whole length or height of the frame. When moving sideways it should reach from bottom till top. You'll need to match the speed of movement (close enough) to make it work.
- A fast pan which makes it hard to see details can be used as a spot for a short crossfade or just a cut. End and start the sequential takes with it.

Don't forget to experiment!

February 10, 2017 at 4:38AM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

Did you see "Victoria" the entire film was shot in a single take and it's about 2hrs long. And they did only do 2 takes. One. Two. Finished. Not much edit, some grading, a lot of audio work done. Finished. So how did they do it? A lot of preproduction. And by a lot I mean A LOT!

They have trainied every part of the film and every scene a few dozent times. They managed to prepare every location at the right moment. They castet the right people and crew for the job. They took the right euipment that lasted over 2hrs continuos shooting. But the most important part was, is and will ever be preparing everything as well as you can possibly get it.

In other films like "Birdman" they shot the most scenes individually and then later they added them together with some digital and camera tricks. So there's that.

February 15, 2017 at 2:27PM

Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller

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