Side-By-Side Comparison Of 1917 Being Filmed And Shot We See In Movie Shows Incredible Achievement
A side-by-side video shows how director Sam Mendes managed to film recent epic war film 1917 so that it looked like one continuous shot.
The film came out in the US in December and in the UK this month. It was the brainchild of Mendes - who has directed two James Bond films as well as critically acclaimed movies such as American Beauty.
As you can see from the video above, it took an incredible amount of effort to make sure the film put the viewer into the centre of the action.
The film itself follows two young soldiers on a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message to another battalion and save 1,600 lives.
To illustrate the horror and scale of the First World War, as well as to add suspense and urgency to the two young men's journey, Mendes decided to tackle it as if it were one long scene. He enlisted the help of visionary cinematographer Roger Deakins to take on the challenge.
Sure, there are a couple of digital cuts, but you'd never even know they were there.
Speaking to Total Film about the decision, Mendes said: "There were days when you were like, 'Why did I do this to myself?'"
He admitted that some scenes took 'hundreds of takes - literally' to get down. Mendes spoke of the frustration which can boil over when a lengthy scene has to be re-shot.
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The Skyfall director continued: "We got through this whole scene - five-and-a-half minutes of absolutely everything in the right place, just beautiful, and the camera operator tripped on the mattress. Total human error. And it's like, 'No!!!'"
Speaking to Deadline, Deakins added: "The front page of 1917 was this imagined to be one continuous shot and you [say] 'Really?'
"I was concerned it was a gimmick but it's not a gimmick, it's a way to get sucked into the story. Every film has a different way to tell a story and this was a particular challenge."
The film stars George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman as the two Tommies packed off on what seems to be a suicide mission.
Set in Northern France in Spring 1917 - obviously - the synopsis speaks of 'a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will warn of an ambush during one of the skirmishes soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich'.
It continues: "The two recruits race against time, crossing enemy territory to deliver the warning and keep a British battalion of 1,600 men, which includes Blake's own brother, from walking into a deadly trap.
"The pair must give their all to accomplish their mission by surviving the war to end all wars."
As well as Mackay and Chapman, the film also stars Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Featured Image Credit: eOne
Topics: TV and Film