Day: August 2, 2010

single takes are mighty impressive

I love dance movies. So I’m really looking forward to seeing Step Up 3D. I’m pretty sure it’ll be sensory overload — with lots of jaw-dropping feats of physical skill.

But have you noticed how rarely today’s dance (or martial arts) movies embrace the single take? While I’m conscious of the fact that some of the contemporary fascination with scene-cutting is a matter of aesthetics, it does have the added benefit of allowing film-makers to draw from multiple takes to create a ‘montage’ of impressive moves even if mistakes have been made in the process.

One of the things I find most impressive about old school song and dance movies is the skill required to pull off a perfect dance routine in a single take. Fred Astaire was a stickler for the single take, apparently declaring “either the camera will dance, or I will”.

This appreciation of the single take was one of the reasons I was so taken with this video clip we saw on the weekend.