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VIDEO: Side-By-Side Comparison Shows How 1917 Was Filmed To Look Like One Continuous Shot

New video reveals how director Sam Mendes filmed the movie.

A new video shows how the epic war film 1917 was filmed to make it look like one continuous shot.

The movie is shot to look like it is one continuous shot and although there are obviously a bunch of cuts in there, this still meant that a lot of the sequences had to be shot in one long cut. So the movie’s producers decided to release some behind the scenes footage of how they achieved the final product and it is absolutely astounding:

The movie, directed by Mendes (director of two James Bond films and the critically acclaimed American Beauty) came out in the US in December and the UK this month.

In an attempt to illustrate the horror and scale of the First World War, Mendes decided to film the movie as if it were one long scene. He enlisted the help of cinematographer Roger Deakins and the outcome was a huge success.

Mendes, speaking about the frustration that such a challenge can cause, said, “There were days when you were like, ‘Why did I do this to myself?'”

He added, “We got through this whole scene – five-and-a-half minutes of absolutely everything in the right place, just beautiful, and the camera operator tripped on the mattress. Total human error. And it’s like, ‘No!!!'”

Deakins stated, “The front page of 1917 was this imagined to be one continuous shot and you [say] ‘Really?’

“I was concerned it was a gimmick but it’s not a gimmick, it’s a way to get sucked into the story. Every film has a different way to tell a story and this was a particular challenge.”

The story set in Northern France follows two British soldiers sent on a suicide mission across no man’s land. It “has been hailed as the greatest war movie since Saving Private Ryan in no small part thanks to Deakins’ immersive, unrelenting and deeply absorbing camera work,” Brent Lang writes in Variety.

Describing his reasoning for the choice to film 1917 as if it were one continuous shot, Mendes states in a behind-the-scenes featurette, “From the very beginning, I felt this movie should be told in real time. Every step of the journey, breathing every breath with these men, felt integral, and there’s no better way to tell this story than with one continuous shot.”

You can watch the trailer for 1917 here.

Featured image credit: Wikipedia

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