As Long As it Takes: When to Use Long Takes

Anyone who’s gone to see a few popular movies over the past few years will probably be familiar with the concept of the long take. You know, the one were you have a continuous camera shot for an entire scene or two.

Thanks to Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and his movies like Gravity, Birdman, and The Revenant the technique exploded into the spotlight and then became something every movie had to get a piece of. And ever since then, every two-bit film student with a camera tried to replicate the look.

What some people don’t seem to get is that like any shot, the long shot needs to service the story, otherwise, it’s just a gimmick.

Now You See It’s video What Long Takes Can’t Do talks about the difference of long versus traditional shots and how that can affect your overall narrative.

Remember everything in a film exists to service the story, if you want to use a long take make sure it fits the narrative and not just your own desire to be innovative and edgy.

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  • While a great many would see him as a hero, there are some that would prefer the term vigilante. Gregory is an aspiring filmmaker who loves writing, directing, coffee and long walks on the beach.

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