Kill For Thrill (2000)

James / April 12th, 2010

This is a movie I made in 2000 as a homage to Alfred Hitchock’s 1948 film “Rope”. Hitchock created great suspense using long takes. The camera would run continuously until they’d have to stop every 10 minutes or so and load more film. Whenever this happened, Hitchock had no choice but to use cuts and sometimes would try to disguise them by cutting while the camera moved behind a character’s back.

Unlike Hitchcock, I was shooting on VHS, so I could shoot for 2 hours straight if I wanted. So what I tried here was sort of an experiment. To shoot a movie in one single take. No editing! (until the end) It’s about 15 minutes long. I gave the actors general directions, but allowed them to improvise their dialogue as long as they stick to the story. It was challenging for all of us. The VHS camera was bulky and did not have the convenience of an LCD screen. So I had my eye in the viewfinder the whole time.

This is definitely no masterpiece, but if you’re studying film, it may be very interesting to check out. One warning: there is A LOT of screaming near the end. Have your volume control ready for that.

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