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The Russian Ark


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#1 Vincent T Sharma

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:09 PM

I just read this on wikipedia.

Russian Ark (Русский ковчег) is a 2002 movie by Russian director Alexander Sokurov. It is notable for being the world's first unedited feature film: it consists of a single 90-minute Steadicam shot.


Do you have any interviews or insights on the making of this movie ?
What do you think are the most important elements and precautions we got take into consideration if we attempt to do something like this?

thank you

sun
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#2 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:18 PM

Do you have any interviews or insights on the making of this movie ?
What do you think are the most important elements and precautions we got take into consideration if we


The commentaries and extras on the DVD go into considerable detail on the production and problems.
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#3 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:42 PM

What do you think are the most important elements and precautions we got take into consideration if we attempt to do something like this?


The movie is very interesting, though I don't think it's Sokurov's best film. It was shot with the Sony F900, tethered to a mobile hard drive that could record 90 minutes of footage.
The cast and crew rehearsed the whole movie three times, principal (and only) photography took 4 days, and the beautiful Hermitage Museum was packed with extras, three live orchestras and crew members in full costume.

I guess the key to get it right is the most exstensive pre-production you can afford and as many rehearsals as you may need, but the real question I have for you is why would you even try to do something like that?
Sokurov had a very specific reason to try it, a movie in a single shot, in a single "breath", and it made sense for the subject matter. Do you have a reason to tell your story that way? (I'm not criticizing you, I'm genuinely curious).
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#4 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:54 PM

I just read this on wikipedia.

Russian Ark (Русский ковчег) is a 2002 movie by Russian director Alexander Sokurov. It is notable for being the world's first unedited feature film: it consists of a single 90-minute Steadicam shot.
Do you have any interviews or insights on the making of this movie ?
What do you think are the most important elements and precautions we got take into consideration if we attempt to do something like this?

thank you

sun

You can see of site :
http://www.russianar.../rus/index.html

The secrets of film
http://www.russianar...us/secrets.html

The equipments :
http://www.russianar...s/techniks.html

Photos
http://www.russianar...u/rus/foto.html

If you need, i can translate a some text.
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#5 Nick Mulder

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:30 PM

There is a moment in it when a child extra noticeably stares directly into the lens - mind you, I did see it about 3 times so maybe I was looking for stuff like that...
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#6 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:21 PM

Hitchcock did soemthing similar with "Rope", except he had to cut and when he did it was all coninuous, the action would freeze, with the frame on a guys back, the mag would change, and the flow would begin again.
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 02:41 AM

The cast and crew rehearsed the whole movie three times, principal (and only) photography took 4 days, and the beautiful Hermitage Museum was packed with extras, three live orchestras and crew members in full costume.

Actually, they never rehearsed the whole movie the way they shot it. They rehearsed sections of the movie in another location, but never the whole thing at once. They only had one day in the hermitage, so all they could do was start shooting immediately. Principal photography took one day since that's the amount of time they had the museum for.
I saw this movie with Tillman Buttner (the steadicam operator and DP) and about 50 other camera operators a few years back and it was quite interesting. I didn't like the movie at all, but I thought it was amazing that they pulled the shot off. I believe they only got three or four takes and only one that ran the full length of the movie. They had a couple problems with the Directors Friend (they only had two) and they had some other problems which caused them to cut on another take. I believe they got about 70 minutes through a take at one point and the Directors Friend failed.
The whole film was shot MOS and ADR'd later since Buttner and other crew were communicating with each other throughout the shot and the original sound couldn't be used.
I don't see the point of trying to do a one shot movie again. It's been done. And truthfully, a story can be told much more effectively by using cuts.
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#8 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:47 AM

Actually, they never rehearsed the whole movie the way they shot it. They rehearsed sections of the movie in another location, but never the whole thing at once.


I knew they couldn't use the location for the rehearsals, I said 4 days because that's what the epk said about rehearsal and actual principal photography. Thanks for giving us more accurate information.

I don't see the point of trying to do a one shot movie again. It's been done. And truthfully, a story can be told much more effectively by using cuts.


I agree. If someone had to do it again, they better have some real reasons to do it that way, and I frankly can't see any.
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#9 Nick Mulder

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 04:00 AM

There were a few sweeps where the camera passed a wall closely or an actors back where there could have been edits - as you say there were none, but it would have been nice to avoid these to give the less knowledgeable less excuses to believe there were ...
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#10 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 02:07 PM

I don't see the point of trying to do a one shot movie again. It's been done. And truthfully, a story can be told much more effectively by using cuts.


It's not exactly a 'story', certainly not a conventional story.
If anything it's a dance.
I prefer watching it with the sound off, so as not to be distracted by the flow of images.

The musical flow of images is more important than the story.
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#11 Stephen Press

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 01:43 AM

I shot an 80min continuous roll feature called ROAD in 2000. I don?t think it has ever screened anywhere as the producer has never been able to get financing to do the sound mix. Technically it was sound and looked good in parts. I?m quite proud of my shooting but I learnt a lot about dealing with first time film wantabes who don?t really know how to make a film.
It was physically tough but that was nothing compared to the mental torture :)
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#12 Stephen Press

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 02:00 AM

How do you edit?

Anyway here is a news story on R.O.A.D.
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#13 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 06:49 PM

There were a few sweeps where the camera passed a wall closely or an actors back where there could have been edits - as you say there were none, but it would have been nice to avoid these to give the less knowledgeable less excuses to believe there were ...


I analysed the DVD and noticed a few times where I feel sure there are cuts. I would think they must have edited and used different takes. Does anybody know if one can be absolutly sure there was not cut/editing point ? Brad ?
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#14 Nick Mulder

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 07:37 PM

I analysed the DVD and noticed a few times where I feel sure there are cuts. I would think they must have edited and used different takes. Does anybody know if one can be absolutly sure there was not cut/editing point ? Brad ?


I doubt they will admit it - hence its a pity that there are those parts that will always lead us to wonder ...
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#15 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 08:45 PM

Ah Ah... Anyone's advice ?
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#16 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 04:58 AM

Ah Ah... Anyone's advice ?


I saw it in the cinema, and looked like to me they were cutting on extreme close-ups - like Rope did. However I could be wrong, found it one of the most agonising films to watch.

Watched The Return immediatly after - much more interesting film.
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#17 Nick Mulder

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 05:44 AM

'Russian' isn't a genre ...
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#18 NathanCoombs

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 08:24 AM

I think most of those who found the film "agonizing" were simply shocked by the twin factors of the absense of cuts and linear story. I also found this an impediment the first time i saw it in the cinema,

But if you appracoh the film as a ballet and drop your expectations of stories and characters arcs it is simply a wonderful piece of documentary making. I say 'documentary' because I think this is a far more appropriate term.
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#19 K Borowski

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 09:06 AM

One excellent advantage of filming the movie in one continuous take would be that a director like David O Russell wouldn't have the opportunity to demolish the set, kick books at helpless crewmembers, or call his leading lady a c*nt :lol:

Sorry, I'm in a particularly humorous mood today. . .

Why would they shoot it on the F900 if they weren't going to shoot it in one continous take. I actually remember the cinematographer or AC bashing the camera a bit in an interview.
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#20 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:34 PM

Why would they shoot it on the F900 if they weren't going to shoot it in one continous take. I actually remember the cinematographer or AC bashing the camera a bit in an interview.


It's the fact of recording on a hard drive that makes the point, not shooting the 900...

But that doesn't mean the actual result has no cuts.


Please, does anybody know or can confirm there are actually cuts in the edited release ? Is there an editor credited BTW ? (I don't have the DVD anymore, it was lent to me...). Many thanks.
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