One-shot film

A one-shot or continuous shot feature film is a full-length movie filmed in one long take by a single camera, or manufactured to give the impression it was.

Use and theory

In a 2019 article, discussing the multi-nominated film 1917, Eric Grode of The New York Times wrote that very long takes were becoming popular in more mainstream films "as a sobering reminder of temporality, a virtuosic calling card, a self-issued challenge or all of the above", also citing the Academy Award-winner from several years prior, Birdman.


Grode notes that before such films as 1917 and Birdman, the one-shot had a history of over 70 years, from 1948's Rope, which was shot in 10-minute continuous takes that appear as a one-shot. Reportedly, James Stewart, star of Rope, did not like the long takes and apparently muttered on set that the cameras were more important than the actors. The director, Alfred Hitchcock, intended to shoot the film as if it were a play, and perfectly timed each 10-minute segment to allow for hidden edits behind furniture; elaborate camera and actor choreography was used. He wrote Rope this way because he felt "if time passed between cuts, the suspense of whether the body was still in the trunk would be lost".
Grode also examines the 1958 film Touch of Evil as an example, though only its 3-minute opening sequence is shot in real time. However, the use of a real time ticking bomb through the single shot is seen as a standard.


Actual "one shot"

1974Model105 min.Kostas SfikasGreece-
1982Macbeth57 min. †Béla TarrHungary
1998Big Monday74 min.Michael RehfieldUnited States
2000Timecode97 min.Mike FiggisUnited States
2002Russian Ark96 min.Alexander SokurovRussia
2003Sábado, una película en tiempo real65 min.Matías BizeChile
2005The Magicians96 min.Song Il-gonSouth Korea
2005The Circle103 min.Yuri ZeltserFrance
2007PVC-185 min.Spiros StathoulopoulosColombia
2008Still Orangutans'81 min.Gustavo SpolideroBrazil
201121 Brothers96 min.Michael McGuireCanada
2013Rati Chakravyuh102 min.Ashish AvikunthakIndia
2013Fish & Cat134 min.Shahram MokriIran
2013El triste olor de la carne87 min.Cristóbal ArteagaSpain
2013Ana Arabia85 min.Amos GitaiIsrael
2013Somebody Marry Me98 min.John AsherUnited States
2013Daikuko98 min.Mitani KokiJapan
2014Agadam123 min.Mohamad IssackIndia
2015Victoria140 min.Sebastian SchipperGermany
2015Anino sa likod ng buwan120 min.Jun LanaPhilippines
2015Daksha142 min.S. NarayanIndia
2016Eight81 min.Peter BlackburnAustralia
2016Immortality145 min.Mahdi Fard GhaderiIran
2016King Dave99 min.PodzCanada
2017Fourplay77 min.Dean RonaldsUnited States
2017The Wedding Party119 min.Thane EconomouUnited States
2017Lost in London100 min.Woody HarrelsonUnited States
2017One Shot-Fear Without Cut140 min.Haroon RashidIndia
2017Invasion90 min.Shahram MokriIran
2017Watch The Sunset83 min.Tristan Barr & Michael GosdenAustralia
2018A Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love on Election Night89 min.Qasim BasirUnited States
201890 min.Erik PoppeNorway
2018Blind Spot98 min.Tuva NovotnyNorway
2018:de:Tatort: Die Musik stirbt zuletzt|Tatort: Die Musik stirbt zuletzt87 min. Dani LevySwitzerland
2018:de:Tatort: Die Musik stirbt zuletzt|Tatort: Die Musik stirbt zuletzt88 min. Dani LevySwitzerland
2020Limbo''89 min.Tim DünschedeGermany

†One five minute shot and the film's opening credits precede the film's 57 minute main shot.

Edited to appear as "one shot"

1948Rope80 min.Alfred HitchcockUnited Kingdom / United States
1991Homework85 min.Jaime Humberto HermosilloMexico
1997Running Time70 min.Josh BeckerUnited States
2002Irréversible97 min.Gaspar NoéFrance
2009Enter the Void161 min.Gaspar NoéFrance
2010La Casa Muda86 min.Gustavo HernándezUruguay
2011Silent House87 min.Chris Kentis, Laura LauUnited States
2014Birdman119 min.Alejandro G. IñárrituMéxico
2015Hardcore Henry96 min.Ilya NaishullerRussia
2017"eps3.4 runtime-error.r00" 43 min. Sam EsmailUnited States
2017Bushwick94 min.Cary Murnion, Jonathan MilottUnited States
2018"Two Storms" 57 min. Mike FlanaganUnited States
20191917118 min.Sam MendesUnited Kingdom

Works other than film