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The mad science laboratory
of a screenwriter & consultant


Children of Men

This is a real treat: this chap Larry Wright has put together a compilation, in chronological order, of every shot over 45 seconds duration in Children of Men.

It was recently revealed that Alfonso Cuaron's upcoming film, "Gravity", will not only have a 17+ minute opening long take, but also an ASL (average shot length) of 45 seconds. Having been a fan of his previous films, I revisited my favorite one to see just what that type of shot looked and felt like.
I had seen the film a few times before, and couldn't recall more than handful of shots that I thought would work. I was shocked to find there were 16 of them -- heck, there are 6 longer than 90 seconds! They are used in a variety of situations, and to great effect. It was easy to see how I could forget there were so many, as each one simply pulled you further into the story. It made me so excited for 'Gravity' that I felt I just had to share with anyone else who would be interested.

While not obviously a screenwriting issue, it's instructive to think about how one might construct scenes and sequences differently when working with a director such as Alfonso Cuaron.

And it's darned interesting to watch these scenes play out when you're analysing them as single shots.