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Over 1.3 Million Feet Of Film On Tropic Thunder?


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#1 Marque DeWinter

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:20 PM

I'm just wondering if this is accurate...I was just informed that on Tropic Thunder they shot over 1,300,000' of film which is 240 hours and 44 minutes. I've heard of big shooting ratios but more than 100:1? Even taking into account some shots probably had 6-7 cameras...that still seems like a lot to me.

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#2 David L Nelson

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:24 PM

I'm just wondering if this is accurate...I was just informed that on Tropic Thunder they shot over 1,300,000' of film which is 240 hours and 44 minutes. I've heard of big shooting ratios but more than 100:1? Even taking into account some shots probably had 6-7 cameras...that still seems like a lot to me.

~Marque


Well cosider Jack Black takes up a good deal of frame-space!
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:26 PM

Shooting over a million feet is a lot, but not unheard of. They did it on Charlies's Angels (they had loads of slow-mo) and Kubrick for Eyes Wide Shut. I recenlty read an article on a film where they shot over 2 Million, but I cannot remember anymore which one it was.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:33 PM

Yes, 100:1 is a lot for a controlled story film. Documentaries can go a lot higher than that, say 500:1. The "Tape is cheap" mindset has infested TV, where shows now turn in a couple hours of dailies per day instead of about 40 minutes. It's a burden on the editors to wade thru all that .....




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#5 Marque DeWinter

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 02:14 PM

Yes, 100:1 is a lot for a controlled story film. Documentaries can go a lot higher than that, say 500:1. The "Tape is cheap" mindset has infested TV, where shows now turn in a couple hours of dailies per day instead of about 40 minutes. It's a burden on the editors to wade thru all that .....

-- J.S.


I'm not saying relative to a doc. But for a well planned feature, even a studio feature, it seems like a lot of film to me. I do know other movies that shot that high but for those there was a specific reason ex. after shooting 60% of the movie the studio and writers change the entire script so they lost 80% of what was in the can...

The imdb listed run time is an 1:21 minutes so thats a 178:1 ratio... even when you know that the camera rolls for a bit before and after each shot...

~Marque
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#6 Max Jacoby

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:06 PM

I haven't seen the film, but it's a comedy so they probably kept the cameras rolling and improvised.

Some Hollywood films have a complete disregard for the money spend on filmstock. A friend did a big film where they kept the cameras rolling while the director would speak to the actors, sometimes for 2-3 minutes at a time.
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 03:40 AM

A friend did a big film where they kept the cameras rolling while the director would speak to the actors, sometimes for 2-3 minutes at a time.

They do this on sitcom's. Of course most, if not all, sitcoms are shot on tape now, but they did it even when they shot 35mm.

I worked on a movie that was only 24 shooting days and we shot 250,000 ft. We weren't wasting by any means, but we moved fast and two cameras ran for about 90% of the shots.
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#8 Chris Burke

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 07:32 PM

I haven't seen the film, but it's a comedy so they probably kept the cameras rolling and improvised.

Some Hollywood films have a complete disregard for the money spend on filmstock. A friend did a big film where they kept the cameras rolling while the director would speak to the actors, sometimes for 2-3 minutes at a time.



I worked on some Dane Cook movie that came and went very quickly in theatres last month, I observed on set that the director would do the following on pretty much every take that day.

At the end of the take he would call out, "keep rolling" and then approach the cast as if to give them quick direction, one would think. Instead, he would talk for a good 3 to 6 minutes. When he was done and said, "OK, let's go again" the AC would call out, camera reloads. As I said, this happened all day long. It was very long day, we actually went into gold time which is 16 plus hours. I thought, no wonder people complain so much about the cost of making movies. With such inefficiency, the picture was sure to suffer. And it did.
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#9 Dominic Case

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 10:50 PM

Hmm. 1.3m ft IS a lot, but it's only half what Mandy Walker shot for Baz Luhrmann on Australia.

Mind you, that did end up at 165 minutes, so the ratio is about the same.

And it IS an epic, so lots of multiple camera coverage.

And it IS Baz!
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#10 Tom Lowe

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:06 PM

Malick is said to have shot "millions" of feet of film on The Thin Red Line.

His first cut of the picture was something like 6 hours long.
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#11 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 12:20 AM

That's a lot of film but to look at it another way its 20 rolls a day on a 65 day shoot. With multiple cameras it doesn't seem that extravagant. It is a heap of footage overall though, somebody scored a lot of short ends...
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#12 Max Jacoby

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:26 AM

Hmm. 1.3m ft IS a lot, but it's only half what Mandy Walker shot for Baz Luhrmann on Australia.

That's the one whose name I couldn't recall anymore.
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#13 Tim Partridge

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 06:41 AM

The original SUPERMAN was over a million feet, too. Baring in mind how many additional units were working on that film and how much was spent on effects test footage. However, there were still loads of complete scenes that didn't make the film (not counting all of the footage also shot simultaneously for the sequel).

It impresses me much more when a director can be totally economical, even to the point of doing one take on a "one-er".
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#14 Tom Lowe

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 09:57 AM

Weren't parts of "Superman II" essentially shot at the same time as "Superman I"?
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#15 Tim Partridge

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 07:47 PM

Yes, that's what I said (apologies if I wasn't as clear as I could have been).
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