Director Sam Mendes can hold his Best Director and Best Picture of the Year Golden Globes up high. Truly, once the Hollywood Foreign Press Association saw the extended one-shot Mendes pulled off for his epic war thriller, “1917,” the other contenders didn’t have a prayer.
What Mendes has achieved on the silver screen is nothing short of remarkable. “1917” pushes the editing boundaries by giving us one continuous shot of a daring mission in World War I. . .
The cast and crew filmed “1917” in a series of long shots that stick together to appear as though it’s one take, Chapman explained to Townhall in an interview on Wednesday. The longest shot, the actor recalled, was almost nine minutes long. They rehearsed for six months to get their chemistry with the cameras just right.
“The whole thing was choreographed,” Chapman said. “It literally was a dance between the camera and the actor. We were genuinely bouncing off of each other. So if I stepped a bit too far to my left and the camera would adjust where if the camera wasn’t quite ready, then I would hold my line and wait for the camera to fill in on my face. It was this whole flow and rhythm between the two things gelling together.” . . .
Chapman was perhaps also so in tune with his character, Corporal Blake, because of the realistic conditions in which they filmed. The actor once played Billy Elliott in London’s West End. It’s a three-hour show with a series of extended dance sequences. And Billy is in every scene. But that didn’t quite prepare him for the six weeks of filming in muddy trenches for “1917.” (Read more from “‘1917’ Star Reflects on Grueling Conditions the Cast Endured for Best Picture of the Year” HERE)