One of the notable features of Alfonso Cuaron’s 2006 film “Children of Men” is Cuaron’s use of long, single-shot sequences, including a complicated urban warfare shot that’s nearly eight minutes long. Refocused Media examined the movie and found that there were 16 shots longer than 45 seconds. The 31-minute compilation video above shows all of the shots in chronological order.
Obviously, you should see the film if you haven’t already. My point in doing this is to demonstrate the effect of a long take in a variety of narrative uses, and to give an idea of what a 45+ second shot looks and feels like when directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
It was also recently revealed that Cuaron’s upcoming film “Gravity” has a 17-minute long opening take, and an average shot length of 45 seconds.
P.S. If long shots are your thing, then Russian Ark is your kind of movie.