The recent lovely work from @GreyLondon for The Sunday Times celebrates the "one take" style of film, and more often, frustration in the studio with numerous takes for "the one." In this case, Grey went with take #16 of 27 (see final result in the video below).
It is beautiful in content.
It also threw me back to the work of Russian film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky. Tarkovsky shoots MINUTES of film without a cut. Film–not digital–and therefor not cheap. I wrote a previous blog post about "The Sacrifice" during my MFA film studies.
Under Tarkovsky's direction, acting must be perfect.
Lighting has to follow–a lot of natural light–time of day is limited.
Actors must walk in and out of frame with precision. Some actors will appear with their back to the camera, actively commanding the conversation. It's almost straining to watch. See the early indoor scene in "The Sacrifice for that example.
There's an in-depth video on his technique, with interviews at this link. Sorry Youtube won't let me embed that one. Here's an exceprt from a lecture:
"Cinema is the only art that operates with the concept of time.
Not because if its developing in time, because so does music - and theatre and ballet and other art forms.
I mean time in the literal sense.
After all, what is a take?
From when we say: “action!”
To when we end by saying “cut”, what is happening?
It is the fixing of reality, the fixing of time.
The conservation of time - for us to keep forever.
No other art can fix time except cinema.
So film is a mosaic of time." –Tarvoksky
Here's the ad for The Sunday Times:
"Newspaper Brilliantly Re-enacts Scenes From Art, Music and Film in One Take"