Monday, April 16, 2007

Boogie Nights - Tracking Shot

Long one take tracking shots in films have become a bit cliche mostly due to the fact that most of them simply aren't very good. Occasionaly a director like a Welles, Altman or De Palma comes along and raises the long tracking shot to an art form.
Anderson is a master at it and BOOGIE NIGHTS features several of the more masterful one shot takes I have ever scene. One thing that makes his work so unique is that he keeps the performers, as well as the camera, moving. This opening shot is a perfect example of how just one wrong move by an actor or a misplaced line would throw the entire scene off.
Anderson also understands how to use these shots thematically, notice here how the shot finally ends just at the moment we encounter Dirk for the first time.
This is how you do a opening long tracking shot, it's no wonder Altman loved Anderson so much.

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