Magazine article Variety

Film and Game Play

Magazine article Variety

Film and Game Play

Article excerpt

The long take - a sequence shot in one unbroken camera move - isn't easy to pull off. Many films are remembered for such virtuosity. Think Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope," which appears as one continuous take; the Battle of Dunkirk shot in the middle of Joe Wright's "Atonement"; and the 17-minute unbroken visual at the beginning of Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity."

This year we can add a video game to that pantheon: The latest iteration of "God of War," directed by Corly Barlog and shot by cinematographer Dori Arazi. The Sony Interactive Entertainment game, developed by Santa Monica Studio and released for the Playstation 4 console, is the eighth chapter of the action-adventure franchise that debuted in 2005.

"God of War" is made up of 100 long takes, totaling 25 to 35 hours of game play. "I had the strong instinct that not having a cut, especially as the game was played over time, would create a sense of immediacy," says Borlog, whose initial inspiration was the late-'80s, early-'90s immersive theater event "Tony n' Tina's Wedding," in which audience members interact with the cast.

When shopping the idea of a game made up of long takes, Borlog referred potential producers to John Woo's "Hard Boiled," which featured a long-take fight scene and a mix of action and drama. Ultimately, Sony Interactive took the leap.

Barlog sought out a cinematographer who could shoot the game like a film. "I needed someone who wouldn't just move the camera with no motivation," he says. Producer Tim Morton recommended Arazi, who teaches camera work for games at Global Cinematography Institute; the two met and clicked. …

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