Hot off a #1 wide release debut, a Best Picture – Drama win at the Golden Globes, and on the cusp of major Oscar nominations, Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) finds his new World War I epic 1917 one of the most buzzed about films of the awards season.
At the core of what critics and audiences find fascinating is the movie’s “single take” one shot approach. (Well, two unbroken shots, but you get the idea.) A new 11-minute featurette shows how this was done, especially since an actual feature-length take was impossible.
Utilizing a series of lengthy takes that were seamlessly patched together, the scale involved in each unbroken shot requires a completely different kind of strategy than what normally goes into big-budget filmmaking. This behind-the-scenes look takes us through the planning and prep of how Mendes, cinematographer Roger Deakins, and their actors & crew pulled off this ambitious gamble.
Of course, my favorite irony in this whole making-of presentation about a “one shot” movie is the moment where Mendes says “Cut!”. 1917 is playing now in theaters.