Do you know about the long-take technique? It is a technique of filming a video at once without cutting off the screen in the middle. This long-take technique may make the audience bored, but it also shines according to the director's ability. In this article, I would like to introduce '1917', a war film that uses this long-take technique throughout the film.
World War I
The background of '1917' is World War I. World War I was the first mass destruction war in the world to cause about 10 million dead, 22 million wounded and 8 million missing. The Central Powers with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire fought against the Allied Powers with Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Canada, Japan and the United States. It began on July 28th, 1914 and lasted for about four years until November 11th, 1918. World War I is called the trench war because both armies dug trenches to protect themselves and attacked each other's trenches. In these trenches, countries tried to kill people with weapons with advanced killing power, and as a result, an area called "No Man's Land" was created about 250 meters between the trenches and the trenches. This is literally a place where people cannot exist. And in the movie, the main characters pass through here while on a mission.
The plot of "1917"
In the face of a series of tedious trench battles, British frontline troops prepare to attack the retreating German troops. But this was a German trick. Upon learning this, the commander tried to issue an order to stop the action, but it was impossible to deliver the order because the telegraph cable was cut off. Therefore, Scofield and Blake are tasked with sending orders to the front troops to stop the action, and they go on their way. Blake's brother belonged to this front troops, and if he fails to deliver the order, the entire 2nd Battalion, including his brother, is in danger of being exterminated. Therefore, they rush to take steps, and on the way, they almost die from a booby trap and avoid flying bullets. On their way with danger, they rescue a German soldier from a crashed fighter plane, but the German soldier kills Blake. Scofield alone will go the rest of the way, and the action will be stopped as he safely delivers the order. "1917" is directed by Sam Mendes, who produced "007 Skyfall," and although it is not a real story, it is said that the film was made by dramatizing the experience of Sam Mendes' grandfather, a messenger during World War I.
The long-take shooting technique is a technique that shoots a scene without interruption and is called a long-take even if the scene is shot for about a minute without interruption. In modern movies, where most of them are fast-paced screen transitions, long-take can be boring for the audience. However, when successfully using the long-take technique, there are the following advantages. First, the audience can relax and enjoy the surroundings through long takes rather than watching the scene as it is according to the director's intention on a rapidly changing screen. Second, you have the illusion that what's on the screen is actually happening. Because the time in the film and the time in the audience are the same. This effect shone in '1917', and audiences who see the film in a long take felt as if they were on a mission together, so they couldn't miss the tension. The last is that the audience can naturally fall into the mood of the play by seeing the natural surroundings rather than understanding the audience with intentional scenes.
"1917" was a war film that used long-take filming from the beginning to the end of the film, and won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. Although it is a war movie, bullets and shells are not rampant, and in addition, you can feel the tension that you have never experienced in other war movies with excellent directing, good acting, and long-take techniques. In particular, Scofield's last run is a famous scene at the end of the movie, so I hope you watch it.