Jump to content


Photo

Single Location films that connect:


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 09 May 2006 - 04:55 PM

...as we know, too many locations can destroy the economic feasability of a production. This makes writing screenplays with just three or four locations desirable for low-budget independent projects. A few excellent films have been made using only one location. I have one particular film in mind, but I will refrain from naming it at the outset.

Which films come to mind for you? Why do they succeed under the visual constraints of a single location?

Steve
  • 0

#2 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 09 May 2006 - 05:01 PM

Most of "Downfall" takes place in one location, Hitler's bunker. It was a strong film. OK, don't be coy and please name which film you had in mind.
  • 0

#3 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:01 PM

They Shoot Horses Don't they, excellent film.

My Dinner with Andre, I'm not counting the opening bus sequence

Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Not Neil Simon's best but still funny

The Terminal, one location, a VERY BIG location but one location.

Cube, There was actually only one cube the cast went in and out of, Brillantly simple and effective.
Sin City & Sky Captain ant the world of Tommarrow, I know that' cheating but there was only ONE location during shooting.

That's all I can think of right now, Late night :unsure:
  • 0

#4 peter orland

peter orland
  • Guests

Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:55 PM

Phone Booth (Joel Shumacher) was limited locations and primarily all the action and tension was created on the one street of the phone booth.

Death and the Maiden (Roman Polanski) was also excelent.
  • 0

#5 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:57 PM

I am thinking of Sydney Lumet's 1957 feature: "Twelve Angry Men". There is an opening shot of the exterior of the court house, a crane shot in the interior of the court house, a tracking shot that leads to the court room, a few shots in the court room and then the remaining 90 minutes of this 96 minute film are shot in one room with twelve actors - save for the closing shot on the stairs leading out of the courthouse.

Credit certainly must go to Reginald Rose who wrote the story. He succeeds at developing the personalities of twelve characters though the argumentation among the men. Through this process of character development the themes of the story are unveiled: the virtues and flaws of due process and the inevitability of facts being obscured by subjectivity. ( to name just the main strands) The film also unveils some of the ways that racism is produced and reproduced.

Not only do I think it stands as one of the great single location films, I also think it stands as one of the most important works of American cinema.

Any reactions?

Steve
  • 0

#6 dudeguy37

dudeguy37
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • Student

Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:00 PM

I am thinking of Sydney Lumet's 1957 feature: "Twelve Angry Men". There is an opening shot of the exterior of the court house, a crane shot in the interior of the court house, a tracking shot that leads to the court room, a few shots in the court room and then the remaining 90 minutes of this 96 minute film are shot in one room with twelve actors - save for the closing shot on the stairs leading out of the courthouse.

Credit certainly must go to Reginald Rose who wrote the story. He succeeds at developing the personalities of twelve characters though the argumentation among the men. Through this process of character development the themes of the story are unveiled: the virtues and flaws of due process and the inevitability of facts being obscured by subjectivity. ( to name just the main strands) The film also unveils some of the ways that racism is produced and reproduced.

Not only do I think it stands as one of the great single location films, I also think it stands as one of the most important works of American cinema.

Any reactions?

Steve


My intitial reaction to the question was also Twelve Angry Men...what an incredible film. Another good one (though more contemporary) is "Tape" featuring Uma Thurman and Ethan something...can't remember his last name. Anyway, it all takes place in one motel room if I remember correctly, and though the story and dialog are certainly the main catylyst for moving the story forward, the use of camera angles and locked/handheld shots keep it at least somewhat dynamic visually speaking. Good question,
Peace,

-Harry
  • 0

#7 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:09 PM

I jusrt thought of 3 more great ones all Hitchcock, Rope Lifeboat and Rear Window and also for the most part Rebecca.
You cou;d also say Clerks was, for the most part, one location

Edited by Capt.Video, 09 May 2006 - 07:12 PM.

  • 0

#8 Wendell_Greene

Wendell_Greene
  • Sustaining Members
  • 545 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:11 PM

Alien by Ridley Scott
  • 0

#9 Mike Kaminski

Mike Kaminski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • toronto

Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:12 PM

Death and the Maiden. Brilliant film.
  • 0

#10 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:17 PM

Also, one of my other favorites, Inherit the Wind. Just plain genius!.

Edited by Capt.Video, 09 May 2006 - 07:19 PM.

  • 0

#11 Bob Hayes

Bob Hayes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1087 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Culver City, California

Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:32 PM

Here are two great films with lots of sand. Woman in the Dunes and Flight of the Phoenix
  • 0

#12 Paul Maibaum ASC

Paul Maibaum ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 163 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:41 PM

"Conspiracy" directed by Frank Pierson, HBO mow, 2001..A dramatic recreation of the Wannsee Conference where the Nazi Final Solution phase of the Holocaust was devised takes place within one location, the mansion where the conference was held.
Gripping.
Paul Maibaum
DP/LA
  • 0

#13 Dan Salzmann

Dan Salzmann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Paris, France

Posted 10 May 2006 - 06:32 AM

"Sleuth" Brilliant film!
Besides the opening scenes, "The Shining" was one location.
"Dog Day Afternoon" was pretty much one location.
  • 0

#14 Leo Anthony Vale

Leo Anthony Vale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2010 posts
  • Other
  • Pittsburgh PA

Posted 10 May 2006 - 01:23 PM

---'Rope'.

Lots of camera movement.
Unity of time. Though it is theatrically compressed.

'The Hill'

While scenes take place in different parts of the prison camp, it's all inthe prison camp.

Other Lumet films like 'Twelve Angry Men'. That was originally a live TV play.

'Rope' is rather theatrical too.

---LV
  • 0

#15 fstop

fstop
  • Guests

Posted 10 May 2006 - 03:49 PM

A few excellent films have been made using only one location. I have one particular film in mind, but I will refrain from naming it at the outset.


There's absolutely no shame in saying THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

Not a film as such, but Mike Leigh's TV play ABIGAIL'S PARTY is a masterpiece of single location filmmaking.
  • 0

#16 Greg Gross

Greg Gross
  • Sustaining Members
  • 869 posts
  • Harrisburg,PA

Posted 10 May 2006 - 04:08 PM

IDENTITY
Directed by James Mangold
DP- Phedon Papamichael ASC

John Cusack
Ray Liotta
Amanda Peet

Location at a single motel throughout most of the film.


Greg Gross
  • 0

#17 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 10 May 2006 - 06:13 PM

I'd have to say Alien, Identity, and the Shining don't really count, since the sets/locations were big enough and had multiple rooms/levels/areas/whatever. That sorta defeats the purpose of doing a low-budget, one-location film when you're comparing it to huge, elaborate sets. Thematically yes, those films capitalize on the trapped/isolated story that could only take place in a single location, but functionally they had enough different "sub-locations" to help advance the story. Single-spot films kind of turn me off, since the action is limited to mostly intellectual/psychological. Like two hours at the therapist.

Any good production manager will tell you that locations that offer multiple rooms, views, and short distances to alternate locations are a money saver. If there's a nearby park, lonely road, or space large enough to set up as an insert stage, so much the better. Sometimes just shooting a closeup on a long lens against some trees in the BG is all you need for pickups.

I worked on a film that built sets in a new unoccupied warehouse, and shot mulitiple scenes at a nearby college campus that was closed for the summer.
  • 0

#18 Alex Ellerman

Alex Ellerman
  • Sustaining Members
  • 228 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago

Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:30 PM

I would say Carpenter's The Thing was pretty limited... and I love it...
ae
  • 0

#19 Alex Ardenti

Alex Ardenti
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:36 PM

Did everyone forget Reservoir Dogs? That's the first one that pops into my head.

I'd say 90% of it was in the warehouse, the rest were probably 1-2 day shoots at the diner, boss's office, walking down the street etc.

Tarantino probably wrote it with low budget in mind since he wanted to shoot it himself initially on 16mm, b&w

Alex

www.alexardenti.com
  • 0

#20 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:38 PM

Why do they succeed under the visual constraints of a single location?


These are interesting selections and I agree some of them, like the Shining, have multiple locations, but the second question is the toughy. Why do they succeed under the constraint of a single location? My selection: "Twelve Angry Men" is definitely a intellectual/psychological drama that is built on the character development of the twleve men. In this sense the location might be characterized as a mental space. But this film is not pretentious in any way. (for me) I don't see a lot of philosphical ruminations going on in the picture, but on the other hand the logic of due process holds the story together - not by explaining due process, but by showing how it works and why it works the way it does. (often times flawed). I love the film because it presents so many questions and really doesn't offer answers to any of them. These seem to be requirements for good psychological drama that doesn't fall the way of insulting didacticism...

Thanks for all the input,

Steve
  • 0


Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Technodolly

CineLab

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Opal