The one take.
It's incredibly difficult to orchestrate which is why it is so revered.
The idea is you walk through camera movements and advance the plot of a film without "cutting" or stopping recording. It should keep you interested through on screen action or intrigue rather than through complicated editing (which are not the only 2 things to keep one interested).
I have seen a lot of one takes: from the first time my buddy Ryan made me watch Children of Men and the incredibly long and masterfully shot one takes in it back in 2009, to the OK Go inspired parody from AJJ, this year, whom i now love.
As of late it has been over done.
Or has it? It seems like once you see something everywhere it’s easy to pull the hipster card and say it’s over, passé, not interesting anymore. As if once something happens it is no longer interesting by default. If that was the case, then why the hell are there so many romantic comedies exactly the same?!
It only illustrates my point to notice that we repeat and repeat and repeat. Each one of us trying our hand at a style or craft. It doesn’t demean art to copy. It invigorates it.
In his collection of essays “That the dog saw”, Malcolm Gladwell digs into this topic particularly with music.
He interviewed many people who show him throughout history that people rip off each other all the time and it only creates more great art.
It’s okay to copy someone and do it because as I heard Salomon Lighthelm once say (I’m paraphrasing here) “It doesn’t matter if someone has the same gear as me, does the same shoot as me or even the same ideas as me. No one is going to shoot that the way I will, because we all have different eyes and styles that are unique.”
I understand the argument to do something new. But. If you want to shoot something some way, then shoot it. Shoot the hell out of it. Make it your own and take pride in it. If you’re not happy with it, show it to the world and get their opinion. If they say it sucks, and you still love it, fuck ‘em.
You made it and it means something to you. Your eye is what allows you to make your unique vision come to life in the world. Let it be influenced by whatever you want but let it be you.
Don’t just mimic someone because you think that: if you make something like them, then you will be liked.
I have spent years trying to be like other people only to find that my art made in their image was sub par at best. It’s only when I started making things from my heart that I found any solace in inspiration.
There is a keen sense you get when you know you don’t like something. That’s what helps you create. know that sense, know when it’s just being an asshole. Know when to listen to it.
This week I start my first big project with me as the “director”. I’m nervous beyond all get out. I have a team of 15 that I am responsible for leading to create and guide into making what could be an incredible music video.
Knowing that I have to have that level of responsibility this week makes me almost go blind with anxiety. But it also makes my heart and body want to stand up, look that fear in the face and say “are you done now? Because I have work to do”.
Theres a great mantra that I’ve written on my mirror for this week.
“Be brave, my heart.”
It comes from a portion of Stephen Pressfield’s great book “Turning Pro”.
the section goes like this:
“Be brave, my heart [wrote the poet and mercenary, Archilochus]. Plant your feet and square your shoulders to the enemy. Meet him among the man-killing spears. Hold your ground.
When we turn pro, we stop running from our fears. We turn around and face them.”
May you turn and face your fears this week. May you own up to your faults and use them to your honest advantage. May you rely on your self and those you trust and may they surround you with love and acceptance. And if they don’t, then move on, life is too short to hold grudges or judgement. May you be free to create what your heart wants to say. And may the grace and peace of the mother God be with you.