I am posting today to share with you two videos I put together that both pertain to Alfonso Cuaron’s 2006 film, Children of Men. The first one is a re-cut version of the famous 9 minute sequence near the end where Clive Owen’s character is attempting to escort the pregnant Kee through the slums of a refugee camp as a battle between the people and the military breaks out. The second one is a video essay of sorts, that features every shot from the film that lasts 45 seconds or longer. More info on both — as well as the videos themselves — after the break.
I had an idea to combine my favorite scene from ‘Children of Men’, and my favorite song from Sigur Ros (Untitled 8 aka ‘The Pop Song’). All I did was line up the end of the scene with the end of the song, trimmed off the beginning of the song, adjusted the audio levels of the song during sequences with dialogue, and then added a fade in and fade out… I made no other cuts or edits. I think it goes together pretty well, so I hope you enjoy too!
As for the second video, here is a little back story on the project. It was recently revealed that Alfonso Cuaron’s upcoming film, “Gravity”, will not only have a 17+ minute opening long take, but also an ASL (average shot length) of 45 seconds. Having been a fan of his previous films, I revisited my favorite one to see just what that type of shot looked and felt like.
I had seen the film a few times before, and couldn’t recall more than handful of shots that I thought would work. I was shocked to find there were 16 of them — heck, there are 6 longer than 90 seconds! They are used in a variety of situations, and to great effect. It was easy to see how I could forget there were so many, as each one simply pulled you further into the story. It made me so excited for ‘Gravity’ that I felt I just had to share with anyone else who would be interested.
Some other stats:
62 shots > 22 seconds (“half of 45″, my original criteria)
39 shots > 30 seconds
24 shots > 40 seconds
16 shots > 45 seconds
6 shots > 90 seconds
Obviously, you should see the film if you haven’t already. My point in doing this is to demonstrate the effect of a long take in a variety of narrative uses, and to give an idea of what a 45+ second shot looks and feels like when directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Enjoy.
(View it on Vimeo for full HD)
Also, I’m excited to report that this video essay has been featured on an awesome film & cinema blog — Film School Rejects. They offered additional insights into the concepts behind the project, and you can read the entire thing here.
Now that I have worked with the whole film, I intend to do a “fan” trailer as well. The official trailer was not well-received, and I think it would be interesting to try and force myself to tell a dramatic narrative through my editing since I typically do more corporate/event work.