Screen Shot 2012 04 30 at 2.56.23 PM 1 Alfonso Cuaron and the Art of Long Takes: the Children of Men Example

Screen Shot 2012 04 30 at 2.56.33 PM 1 Alfonso Cuaron and the Art of Long Takes: the Children of Men Example

Screen Shot 2012 04 30 at 2.56.44 PM 1 Alfonso Cuaron and the Art of Long Takes: the Children of Men Example

Screen Shot 2012 04 30 at 2.57.02 PM 1 Alfonso Cuaron and the Art of Long Takes: the Children of Men Example

Screen Shot 2012 04 30 at 2.57.12 PM 1 Alfonso Cuaron and the Art of Long Takes: the Children of Men Example

[A bit of an unorthodox way to open an article but I felt like starting with an in media res visual.]

Alfonso Cuaron is a director with a unique visual style that I have been following since Great Expectations and who gained global fame when he practically ‘rebooted’ the Harry Potter series (esthetically speaking) and when his dystopian sci-fi Children of Men came out, rejuvenating the genre.

Long takes have a key role in Children of Men and it turns out there are 154 of them, from 22 seconds up to 378 seconds!

Refocused Media published a great video showing back to back all the long takes lasting 45 seconds or more in Children of Men resulting in 16 scenes and 30 minutes of footage!

Childrenofmen Alfonso Cuaron and the Art of Long Takes: the Children of Men Example

But here is more:

You can watch below a nicely done 7 minute making-of focusing on the 247 seconds car scene that forced Cuaron and his team to be creative and built a never-made before rig, as well on the how and why of the long takes.

I love that the long takes are blending so perfectly with the movie’s style and story that you don’t even realize that some of them are long takes, until you watch a video focusing on this fact.

I hope you enjoyed it and it inspired you, Refocused Media also pointed out that the opening scene of Cuaron’s next movie, Gravity, is rumored to be a 17 minute long take (!).

I am definitely looking forward to seeing this one.

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By mentorless| 8 Comments | Cinematography and Cinematographers, Directing and Directors, Films and TV Show, Making Of, The Art of Framing

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5 comments

  1. I like the part where you don’t even mention Chivo Lubezki, who shot the film.

    • That’s because I wanted to leave you enough space to send some good vibes!

      My apologies to Lubezki, I hope me forgetting to give him credits won’t hurt his confidence too much and make him think he has not done an amazing job.

      On a side note: there are so many other ways you could have mentioned that omission, Mike. (hint: Healthy ways.)

  2. In the 378 second shot, there is a cut when the camera looks up to the stairs. If you watch the blood stains on the lens, when the camera looks at the stairs they dissappear. It is a very good transition between shots, but there is indeed a cut in the take.

  3. Too bad the YouTube video got blocked. I was looking forward to that. I suppose I’ll have to add a tally mark to the “Reasons Universal Pictures Fails at Consumer-Friendliness” board.

    • Lol!
      I found another link, the video can’t be embedded, but I shared it as an update in the article. Thanks for pointing it out, hopefully you’ll get to see this low-res version and enjoy it!

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