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1917 Cuts (5 replies and 5 comments)

Yannick
1 month ago
Yannick 1 month ago

Hey Roger & James,

Really enjoyed 1917. It felt really immersive!

I wondered if you were able to say roughly how many hidden cuts there are in the final film? 

 

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

Ahh! I like hearing peoples comments about the cuts so I am going to hold off on that.

I find it really interesting how some, supposed film savvy, commentators are writing that the entire film was shot on Steadicam and there were less than a handful of cuts. I don't know how they have the gall to publish such rubbish as though they have the facts. I guess that is the world we are living in.

Yannick
1 month ago

Ha! Always interesting to see what people say even though when there's various bts photos or videos out there.

Since I can't find any information out there about the cuts, and I've only seen the film once, I'm going to say there's more than 40 cuts, but then again this is a total wild guess. Maybe you'll be able to give us some information regarding this in one of your future podcasts?

BM459
1 month ago
BM459 1 month ago

Could you reveal where the shortest and longest takes in the film were? I read that there was one nine minute take. Which scene was this? I found the cut near the end after Schofield exits the medical tent and a soldier wipes the frame to be very impressive because it was just a shot of the actor's face and the expression matched almost perfectly. I didn't even notice it the first time, but there were tears in my eyes so hey...

Also, I think you'll be happy to hear that a friend of mine was watching the film for the first time and, after Schofield went over the waterfall and the camera was looking down on him from a bird's eye view, he was wondering "How are they going to get back to eye level?" but he was so immersed in the story that a minute later, he couldn't even remember how it had happened! And then I realized that I couldn't remember either and I had seen the film twice. We were just watching the story unfold with no awareness of the filmmakers. 

The Byre
1 month ago
The Byre 1 month ago

"I don't know how they have the gall to publish such rubbish as though they have the facts."

I happen to know for a fact that the whole film was shot on a GoPro mounted on a trained parrot supplied by 'Gentle Jungle' who were chosen after Mendes saw how they were able to train Andy Sirkis for Planet of the Apes.  The black-out scene was the only cut and had to be used because the parrot was shot dead by mistake.  Fortunately, they had a replacement parrot.

Both parrots had headphones and Roger was shouting commands to them like "Pan left! " and "Go wide!" from a command trailer.

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

Yes, that parrot required a lot of training.

I knew the technique would work because I had experience of training a robin to land on a spade handle for a shot in 'A Secret Garden'. Training that robin only took a few months. (That is actually true, BTW, though I didn't personally train the bird).

Nick Frayne
1 month ago

I watched that not long ago and was wondering exactly this! I'd pictured the team sat around for hours waiting like a someone shooting blue planet.

Colemar Nichols
1 month ago
Colemar Nichols 1 month ago

I finally saw ‘1917’ yesterday and it’s the best movie I’ve seen in years, well done Roger, James, and team!  It didn’t feel like a single take and the cut points were fairly obvious, but it didn’t matter because we were with the characters and story the entire movie.  We left the theatre feeling as if we had gone through all these hardships and understood the stakes and folly laid before us. It was exhausting.  I felt similarly after leaving ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ which had a thousand cuts and the audience POV was everywhere.  Really well done Sir, thank you. 

David W
1 month ago

You have a good eye to notice, they fooled me when it came to hiding the cuts. Can you remember a particular cut point that was obvious to you?

The Byre
1 month ago

Yes, a few. I watched the film again last night and made a mental note of where the cuts were. The very first one, there seems to have been a change of weather, but I won't say where the cuts all are. Your job as a member of the audience is to watch the film and allow yourself to be carried forward by the story.

In a way, it's a pity that the was so much BTS promotional material before release - it meant that I was thinking "Oh that's a gimble shot and that was taken from a crane and . . ." well, and so on and on!

My one and only criticism of the film is that I don't think the subtitles were even remotely necessary for the few very basic French phrases used - but that is a different issue altogether!

Pity about that first parrot though, but that's war for you!

David W
1 month ago

I honestly can't tell if the parrot is a metaphor for something or an actual parrot lol. I guess only astute film enthusiasts will be analyzing the film for cuts, and of course they will find some, but I think the general audience member wont have a clue and will be much more immersed.

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