Friday, September 5, 2014

The Neverending Shot Story

1982. A year of big hair, The Rolling Stones, and a lack of child services intervention. Kidding... kind of. Jeremy Breslau's latest award-winning short film gives us a look into a man's memories of his troubled childhood, and the result is incredible.

From the detailed production design to the flawless camera work, what you get is an astonishing piece of visual art. The film starts in the modern day, with a father putting to bed his scared son in the middle of a thunder storm. From there, we dip into a montage of the father's childhood, where the true filmmaking magic happens.

The camera never stops moving. The entire flashback feels like on long sequence, with seamless transitions and barely any cuts during each memory. I was floored, pausing and replaying each scene, wondering how and where each transition took place. The flashback takes up most of the ten minutes, but you won't be disappointed with any second of it. Here's Jeremy Breslau's "1982":

                                                        1982 from Gina Breslau on Vimeo.

Does the camera work look familiar to you? If you've ever seen the film "Children of Men", that's why. Cinematographer Frank Buono was the man who designed and shot the infamous four minute long, one shot car scene. Here's the clip of the scene, plus a behind the scenes look at the making of it.

Besides Alfonso Cuarón, Buono has worked with filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay, and now, with 1982, has obviously proved himself as an accomplished cinematographer. 

The editing, done by Alan Edward Bell, also stood out to me in cooperation with the cinematography. The transitions were fluid and basically seamless. Additionally, although shot with a "real time" feel, Patrick M. Sullivan Jr.'s work on the production design brought a real sense of change, which really drove home the "montage-ness" of the scene. 

Finally, the small, subtle attention to detail truly amazed me. From the scar on the boy's hand to the quick moment where the father lingers his hand on his neighbor's for a second too long, it all seemed natural and not in your face. This only attributed to the "real time" feel, as there were no cuts to exaggerate or emphasize a particular moment in time, which I felt was an excellent decision.

Brasleau is currently in development of his next short film, "The Chaplain". If you want to learn more, you can check it out on his Kickstarter page here.

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