Primer: A "long-take" is when a camera moves for an abnormally long time without needing to cut to another one. They are often used for feelings of extensive realism or just to impress people with extreme camera work. Often, CGI is used to splice together extremely long ones, or in some of the cases below, they are made almost entirely using CGI. I obviously don't know of everything, and may not have videos for them all, but this is from what I've seen.
8. The Matrix Reloaded: Burly Brawl (Beginning at 4:00)
This one is just barely notable to me, and to some it's just a nice bit of CGI. Keanu Reeves himself is in some of those shots, which shows some pretty nice mixing.
7. Star Wars Episode III: Opening battle (Ending at 1:20)
Like Reloaded, this one loses points for being CGI, but it's still very impressive and enticing, giving an enormous overview of the large-scale battlefield, then rushing the shot through close encounters with the engaging ships.
6. The Sixth Sense: Kitchen Scene ("Oh, you've got a spot!")
The first of our non-combat long-takes, and the first for which I don't have a video. In this scene, we move from the laundry room near the kitchen, into the kitchen where Bobby is having cereal. There is a short interchange between them, and she takes his tie back into the laundry room. When she returns, all the cabinets are open, with not a sound heard indicating such. There is another conversation between them before he leaves for school. Not amazing, but somewhat difficult to do in one take from the enclosed space.
5. War of the Worlds: Conversing in the van
So Tom Cruise is known for nothing more than Scientology now, but you can't deny it's pretty interesting how they got this shot done. The camera circles around the outside of what seems to be the only vehicle working for miles. The conversation held is pretty lengthy and the camera moves to each character as they talk.
4. Touch of Evil (beginning at 0:54)
The opening to Orson Welles' Touch of Evil would be pretty impressive even in today's cinema, but this was made long before even the invention of the steadicam. The camera starts on a closeup of an actor's hands, and ends several blocks down the street in another closeup. Even I don't quite know how they did it so smoothly.
3. The Protector
I don't like movies with throwaway plots, but I also love kung-fu flicks, so overall I enjoyed this; it's a really impressive shot that apparently took about a month of preparation. Some very nice moves in this as well.
2. Atonement (beginning at 0:46)
When I was first shown this, I was impressed at about 3 minutes. My eyes went wider as it went ON and ON. Additionally, all of the extras are very occupied with their various tasks, and it must have taken ages of choreography to get it right.
1. Children of Men: Take a Wild Guess
As disappointing as it is, I don't have a video for this one; YouTube videos of the famous 6-minute take have been removed multiple times. However, on the other hand it would be best for everyone that you watch this movie at your next available chance. Film appreciators everywhere were simply amazed at the fact that this didn't win Best Picture of 2006. Additionally, this isn't even the only long-take in the whole thing; there are at least 3 other scenes that I can recall from memory that involved extremely long takes. If you were at all impressed by the previous video of Atonement, I highly recommend you watch this movie the next chance you get.
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