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Sundance's Silent House acquired, but was it really filmed in one continuous shot?

Jan. 25, 2011by: JoBlo

What the hell? Two days ago I didn't know she existed, but now third Olsen sister Elizabeth is popping up everywhere during Sundance this year. Yesterday it was for her performance in cult drama (literally, it's about a cult) MARCY MARY MAY MARLENE and today she's starring in SILENT HOUSE.

The haunted house horror film premiered at Sundance and was just picked up for $3M by Liddell Entertainment. Not big news in itself, but the buzz about the movie is that it's allegedly one continuous shot from start to finish. From the director:

“…We were immediately intrigued and excited by the challenge of telling a story in a single unbroken camera shot. Making this film fascinated us, as it presented a unique approach to filmmaking, and a new way to experience a movie.” … “Our fantastic actors and crew embraced the rigors involved in shooting this film. We were very fortunate to be working with a luminous and gifted leading lady, Elizabeth Olsen. Following her in a continuous take with no cuts, she draws the audience into her reality, provoking what we hope is an intensely visceral experience.”

But some are disputing this claim, saying that there are a few places in the film where it appears to, or could have easily been cut, including one scene where the lights go out and it's pitch black, and another when a character walks through a door.

There's probably no way to ever actually confirm this, but I would imagine that on take # 4,934 of trying to shoot an hour and a half long movie in one shot (the filmmakers won't actually reveal how make takes it took, suspicious), you'd probably just say f*ck it and throw a scene in there where the lights go out. We kept filming! We promise!

In any case, it does sound like a very cool, original idea for a horror film and...oh wait, it's a remake of the Uruguayan thriller LA CASA MUDA which premiered at Cannes and was also one shot? Nevermind then.

Extra Tidbit: Just like CATFISH was a completely true, unedited story right? Uh huh.
Source: DeadlineSlashfilm

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1:09AM on 01/26/2011

Irreversible

wasnt Irreversible in one continuous shot? im sure it wasnt one take - but i dont think the camera ever cut scenes.
wasnt Irreversible in one continuous shot? im sure it wasnt one take - but i dont think the camera ever cut scenes.
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+1
7:18PM on 01/25/2011

tassi

please read over your articles at least once before posting them on the internet for the world to read. It gets annoying when i tell people to check out my favorite movie website and there are misspellings and grammatical errors
please read over your articles at least once before posting them on the internet for the world to read. It gets annoying when i tell people to check out my favorite movie website and there are misspellings and grammatical errors
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+0
5:45PM on 01/25/2011

i'll buy it

acting for a continuous shot movie isn't that crazy of a concept.

i'd imagine they approached this movie like it was a play. they did several rehearsals where they go through the whole 2 hours, then filmed it after a couple of good runs. i wouldn't expect that acting for a continuous 2 hours in a movie is more difficult than acting for to 2 continuous hours in a play?
acting for a continuous shot movie isn't that crazy of a concept.

i'd imagine they approached this movie like it was a play. they did several rehearsals where they go through the whole 2 hours, then filmed it after a couple of good runs. i wouldn't expect that acting for a continuous 2 hours in a movie is more difficult than acting for to 2 continuous hours in a play?
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12:03AM on 01/26/2011
The problem isn't the acting, it's the technical aspects. It's hard enough to perform a good, relatively long dolly or crane shot, let alone shoot an entire film without any technical problems. There's lighting, shot focus, aperture, etc. Every shot has to be planned out, which is why you so very rarely see films shot in a single take, and when you do, they're highly regarded for that.
The problem isn't the acting, it's the technical aspects. It's hard enough to perform a good, relatively long dolly or crane shot, let alone shoot an entire film without any technical problems. There's lighting, shot focus, aperture, etc. Every shot has to be planned out, which is why you so very rarely see films shot in a single take, and when you do, they're highly regarded for that.
2:15PM on 01/25/2011
As long as the movie is good, I don't care if it is more "Rope" in it's single shot-ness or more "Russian Ark".

Extra tidbit- what's with the obvious scorn for "Catfish"? It's a movie, of course it was edited, but why does that take away from the truth of the story? That is like complaining about "The Thin Blue Line" isn't entirely real because it has been edited- no duh! They had to craft all the footage into a narrative, so it (Catfish) is just as real as any other documentary.

Pretty
As long as the movie is good, I don't care if it is more "Rope" in it's single shot-ness or more "Russian Ark".

Extra tidbit- what's with the obvious scorn for "Catfish"? It's a movie, of course it was edited, but why does that take away from the truth of the story? That is like complaining about "The Thin Blue Line" isn't entirely real because it has been edited- no duh! They had to craft all the footage into a narrative, so it (Catfish) is just as real as any other documentary.

Pretty interesting read- [link]
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1:52PM on 01/25/2011
Interesting concept, even if it was accomplished in 4 or 5 shots. I won't ever get over how incredible some of the shots in Children of Men were.
Interesting concept, even if it was accomplished in 4 or 5 shots. I won't ever get over how incredible some of the shots in Children of Men were.
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2:40PM on 01/25/2011
To be outdone in Gravity. CAN'T WAIT!!!
To be outdone in Gravity. CAN'T WAIT!!!
12:53PM on 01/25/2011

There is only 1 film w/1 continuous shot. "Russian Ark."

This isn't true. Only one film has one continuous shot. It was a pretty interesting film as long as you kept telling yourself it's just one shot, otherwise it's boring. This guys is just saying this for publicity. Can't say I blame him for saying everyone else lies so he figures hell, I'm part of it now I can lie too! YAY! Too bad this will probably go direct-to-DVD. I can't believe all the mediocre films that are being shown there. It's not like it used to be. Oh well I guess everyone
This isn't true. Only one film has one continuous shot. It was a pretty interesting film as long as you kept telling yourself it's just one shot, otherwise it's boring. This guys is just saying this for publicity. Can't say I blame him for saying everyone else lies so he figures hell, I'm part of it now I can lie too! YAY! Too bad this will probably go direct-to-DVD. I can't believe all the mediocre films that are being shown there. It's not like it used to be. Oh well I guess everyone sells out eventually. What a shame.
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+0
11:59AM on 01/25/2011
Apparently the original movie is pretty good, but not without it's major flaws.

So here's to hoping they improved on the original story.
Apparently the original movie is pretty good, but not without it's major flaws.

So here's to hoping they improved on the original story.
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11:43AM on 01/25/2011
I'm looking forward to seeing this, but who cares about whether or not it's a continuous shot? Is it a good movie? Bad? Just OK? I hate it when there's a ton of buzz over something like that.
I'm looking forward to seeing this, but who cares about whether or not it's a continuous shot? Is it a good movie? Bad? Just OK? I hate it when there's a ton of buzz over something like that.
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