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Ah, the one take. Even if the director happens to be a prick he only gets to yell twice.  Once for, “action” and once for “cut”.

I’ve been trying to figure out why people do these. It doesn’t get you anything in the way of production value. Granted, getting all your shit together enough to actually nail something in one take is totally impressive…

Ah. So maybe they do it for the bragging rights.

Having worked in film/t.v. for a while, I find it hard to believe that undertaking such a giant pain in the ass like this is worth the ego sauce (except, of course, when Robert Carlyle makes it look like a walk in the park to shoot – see below).

Writing about one takes I feel bound to mention Russian Ark . There, I did it.

Ok, ok. Russian Ark did a one take for a whole movie.

I remember it well. They called it a, “milestone of cinema”. I was chuffed to see it. You know, develop my cinematic tastes and see just how high my brow could stretch.

Despite my earnest desire to love the movie, it made me more drowsy than a fistful of Butterball washed down with an udder of milk (not to mention I’ve never seen so many extras staring directly into a camera lens in my life).

I digress. The one-taker-makers are on a  quest for awesome. Let’s see how they’re doing (our example scenes are arranged go from worst to best so make sure and check out the bottom of this post before you get back to your “life”):

First, a spot from a drink manufacturer in the U.K. It earns bonus points for a massive cliff-side, Braveheartesque ending, but suffers deductions for xenophobia in the wanna-be-witty dialogue:

Contender #2. Less flash in this one but bonus points for class and advertising Scotch (yes, admittedly I have a bias). This is the tale of Johnny Walker as told by Robert Carlyle (you’ll probably know him as Francis Begbie from “Trainspotting”):

Next up, this sequence by Tony Jaa from The Protector which was a God-awful flick (apologies, Tony, please don’t Ong Bak my ass to a pulp – it wasn’t you, it was the script).

It’s super fun and, as a mandatory bonus point is awarded for each ass kicked, it ranked pretty high:

Our last entry comes courtesy a 172 students at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). It’s wins for a few reasons:

1) It’s a lip dub which is hard as hell to pull of with 1 person let alone 172 – not to mention they coordinated it to work in one take.

2) This one isn’t about pulling off a stunt to inflate egos or sell stuff – it’s about pulling together a legion of like-minded people to bring you some awesome to your Tuesday.


Sources: First two are from Neatorama, third is from my adolescent fixation on martial arts flicks and the last comes via my buddy, Dwayne Hill.

Yeah, it’s an ad. It’s also a quarter million superballs so I’m calling this a win.

This videos a couple years old but it never ceases to bring me joy. Do yourself a favour – cick on the HD/HQ button on the bottom right and watch this in full screen.

The song is Heartbeats, written by Swedish duo “The Knife” and performed by José González.

Making of video here (worth it just for the sound of the balls… Huh, now that’s a phrase I never foresaw myself stringing together.)

Another ad they did. Not quite as awesome in my opinion but very cool. Bellagio fountains meet paint in Scottish housing complex:

Then they turned their attentions to Egypt and the Pyramids:

Then India for dominos:

Their latest ad was a bit of a departure as they refocused their ad campaign focus from color to movement:

Cool sketch book ad… and what the world looks like when you’re a writer on a deadline:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Coolest ad I’ve seen in a while though I don’t know what they’re selling. The awesome is around 0:42 but until then you can enjoy brushing up on your Russian.

Like me and my friends say, “Как спрятаться всем офисом за 5 секунд? Смотрим!”

You know?

Note to self: ‘never play hide and seek with a Russian’

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