Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Lost Art of the Long Shot

My wife and I have started a watch through of St. Elsewhere on Hulu and one of things that I noted is the number of long, uncut shots they have. What I mean here is having a single camera, using it to follow a character but then switching to follow another character or conversation, and maybe even switching AGAIN before finally having a cut to a different camera shot. What this does is just immerse the viewer in the world by making it feel like a real place.

I know exactly why this isn't used more often, since if even one person flubs a line/action, you have to start all the way back at the beginning. Add to that the expense of moving the camera around as necessary and it does seem like a hard thing to pull off. I still miss it, though. The feeling like you're walking through a real place, with all these little things going on around you, just pulls me into a show more than anything else.

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