As a film and TV nerd, my favorite moments to watch are when a long take unfolds. They feel like the work of every single person on set. So many things had to go right, and so many things could go wrong. Recently, we've seen movies like Birdman and 1917 build their entire story on the idea that they would be one long, continuous take.
Obviously, those moves are impossible. You have to cut for lunch, for sleep, and just to break up time to put new film in the camera or download footage.
So how do filmmakers hide cuts in their long takes?
Check out this video from Insider, and let's talk after the jump.
How Eight Movies Shot Their Long Takes (with Disguised Cuts)
It was really fun revisiting a lot of these shots and seeing some of the new ones. It's funny seeing how many projects use oners that are actually a few shots pieced together between action and movement. Still, many of these have to create elongated segments stitched together.
The main tactic is to get people moving in front of the camera. You can disguise the cut with their clothing combined with a pan of the camera. This is called body-crossing.
If you need to switch the actor for the stunt double in a long take, you try and do something called a Texas switch, where the actor runs behind something and on the other side, their double runs out to perform the stunt.
Another way is to use parts of the set to block the camera as well, passing between them and temporarily blacking out the image so you can cut. Or building the set around the shot they want to pull off, like they did in The Haunting of Hill House.
There are also plenty of CGI illusions that bolster these moves and ideas, helping to stitch together or cut out lights and other defects in the set.
Oners are useful tools for the filmmaker to really immerse us in the world, but if you look at the one from Kidding, we see it as a montage to show the passing of time. The combined movements and slick edit make everything look like it's happening all at once. The constant movement makes it hard to disguise the cameras and lights.
What were your favorite examples from the video? Let us know in the comments.