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Old November 27th, 2003, 04:57 PM   #1
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Longest Steadicam Shot

Howdy Charles. I really enjoyed that informative article and set pictures on the AMEX spot. You had some real adversity to deal with on that project. I hope to see more in the future. Anyway, what is the longest steadicam take or shot that you or any other operator that you know of has pulled off. Thanks.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 06:45 PM   #2
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While i am not Charles,

i believe the longest steady cam shot with be the 90 minute long shot from "Russian Ark".

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Old November 27th, 2003, 06:48 PM   #3
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I agree.

What a challenge to do a whole 90 min movie in one take!
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Old November 27th, 2003, 07:42 PM   #4
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Russian Ark

What is The Russian Ark about?
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Old November 27th, 2003, 07:46 PM   #5
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Talk about 3 hundreds years of the Russian history in one (ONE!!!) wonderful 90 minutes shot in a museum. Sound like a documentary but it is not.

Take a look at its IMDB file:
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0318034/
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Old November 27th, 2003, 08:40 PM   #6
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Do a search, there is a huge thread on the Russian Ark.
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Old December 5th, 2003, 02:12 PM   #7
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russian ark

pretty good movie, excellent stunt and 741 actors working over a year in period costumes, and two takes - they worked with a german company to build a HardDrive that would record 100minutes of uncompressed video... doesn't look like we'll see something like that for years to come. still my favorate long take was in the Orson Welles beginning of Touch of Evil... I also heard he did some other incredibly long takes on the Amazing Andersons with 100 technicians, walls suspended by chains and amazing fly-throughs....
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Old December 5th, 2003, 04:15 PM   #8
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Yup, "Russian Ark" takes the prize for longest Steadicam shot in a narrative film. To me, the amazing thing is that not only did operator Tilman Butner survive that ordeal, he also functioned as the DP on the job. Having done the same on a (thankfully) smaller scale many times, I can't even begin to imagine the mental and physical stamina required to focus one's energies in both directions for a project of that magnitude!

My personal longest shot would have to be one done during a campaign commercial for Bob Dole about 10 years ago. We tracked him as he walked through a New Hampshire town, shooting continuously on 16mm. When one mag would grind down to the end, the assistant would slap another on without us breaking stride or we'd lose our spot in the media circus (TV and photographers swarming all around me). Total running time was 22 minutes, of which about 2 seconds was used for the final commercial!

I have a 4 minute or so shot in the film "Big Fat Liar", half of which was cut out of the movie for pacing reasons (although it can be seen intact in the delected scenes section of the DVD). This is the big issue with long continuous shots; keeping the audience interested and maintaining the flow of the rest of the film. Very hard to design.
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Old December 6th, 2003, 07:38 AM   #9
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Not a steadicam shot, but along the lines of long continuous shots that manage to maintain interest, see the self-parodying introductory crane shot in Altman's The Player.
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Old December 6th, 2003, 08:03 AM   #10
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damn I was going to mention that one! They even talk about the opening crane shot in Touch of Evil during the shot :o)

As for otehr examples.. Paul Thomas Anderson is another man who likes his steadicam shots long, to the extent that you could almost say it's a trademark.

Still I think the best steadicam work I've seen is in French cinema. The first half of La Haine has some impressive steadicam work. But while there's impressive, there's also virtuoso, and Gaspar Noé's "Irreversible" has unbelievable stuff. The film takes place backwards with each scene comprising one continuous, steadicam/crane take, and the camera's movement reflecting the emotional state of the characters at the time. Whatever you think of the subject matter of the film, the cinematography is undeniably outstanding.

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Old December 6th, 2003, 12:03 PM   #11
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There's an hour-long episode of "American Family" that's one long steadicam shot. It's a cool effect, but I don't know if this is a good trend. Kinda gimmicky, ain't it?
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