CUT - The One Take Horror Movie
Our feature film CUT comes out this month on DVD in the UK. To our knowledge it is the first single take horror movie ever. Thats right, we filmed the entire thing in one single steady cam shot! The film stars Zach Galligan (Gremlins 1 &2), Dominic Burns, Simon Phillips and a whole host of other up and coming British actors and actresses, including Danielle Lloyd.
I'd love to know what everyone thinks of the concept, and if they like the sound of CUT! I'm a big fan of Hitchcock's 'Rope' and was fascinated by 'Russian Ark', so personally I couldn't wait to get involved with the project. I've linked the trailer below for everyone - this does have lots of cuts in it!
Not mentioned in your post is Timecode, the one take, 4 camera production from Mike Figgis - boring in parts but amazingly executed.
I thought Russian Ark was boring in most places, but an amazing achievement and inspiring at the least.
The trailer for CUT, no offense, makes the movie look uninteresting.
You start by saying "for the first time in film history a horror film in one take" and then you show us a series of unrelated cuts with spooky music. Cuts with spooky music is what most generic horror movies are.
How about showing us 2-3 minutes of a particular scene without cuts that does not give anything away plot wise but is interesting enough to pique the viewer's interest, and to demonstrate the awesomeness of the single take method of filmmaking.
As it is now, the most interesting part of the trailer is the first 5 seconds, then it is kind of a let down.
I agree with Mike, you have a unique (or at least interesting) concept with the one-take guarantee, but you don't show that off in any way during the trailer, other than with text. It would be better if you had a 2 minute one-take shot that just builds up tension to a jump scare or something at the very last second, that would show off what the movie style is about better.
Though, I am intrigued by the split second shot of an evil clown...
That's a tough call, going with a standard trailer format versus a single take from the film. My guess is that without enough context, the single-take version would be hard for an audience to get into. There is a certain expectation for trailers, and especially so for horror trailers. I'm picturing a stereotypical horror movie fan not at all liking the one-take trailer becasue it doesn't lay out enough of the key shots he expects to see.
There may be a happy medium though.
It is not unknown to make a trailer that contains NO footage from the film, it happens sometimes for aesthetic reasons but more often because the film is bad or not yet processed. But here might be an opportunity to make a trailer in the one continuous shot style, without using footage from the film.
What I'm getting at here is, what if you set up a scenario where something is inexorably, slowly, but surely, moving along in a shot, and you know that when it reaches the end, something huge or deadly is going to happen? This could be a lit fuse burning slowly to a stick of explosive. (remember the one long take in "Touch of Evil", where you're waiting for the bomb to go off?) Or it could be a shot of someone falling to earth without a chute, from the falling person's POV. Or a ticking timer that asks you to hold your breath till zero, and you can't. Anything like that, which you could use as background for some gritty narration that lays out the one take concept. By makign the trailer a one-take but self-contained, I think you get across the novel aspect of the film, while satisfying some of the traditional audience. Anyway, it's a free idea.
I think Mark has the right idea (as is usually the case :) ).
How about a low to the ground steadicam shot, starting outside in the grass and moving at an even pace through the front door of a house, up the stairs to the bathroom, ending with some shocking thing, like a severed arm on the floor or anything involving that creepy clown - even if it is not an actual shot from the movie - something to get people to pay attention. Various objects laying on the ground as the camera moves along its journey, such as car keys, a bloody towel, a child's doll sans head, a dead rodent, a broken bottle, etc. And you could have your titles be part of this build. So within 60-90 seconds of one shot, you have established that this is horror, it is one shot and it is shocking or scary or whatever your hook is.