Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Here's an incredible look at how super-complicated long-take shots come together

While many of us have trouble chewing bubblegum and tying our shoes at the same time, there are talented people out there coordinating the creation of film and TV scenes designed entirely, it seems, to make us feel bad.

Take, for example, the third episode of Kidding, that new show where Jim Carrey plays a Mr. Rogers-style TV host. In it, the character Shaina (played by Garfunkel and Oates’ Riki Lindolme) undergoes a series of momentous life changes, shown through a montage of her apartment. The camera circles around her as the decor shifts to reflect the passage of time. She gets a puppy that grows into an adult dog; she breaks down a wall to build a proper kitchen. All of it is filmed in a single take anchored by a TV screen showing Jim Carrey’s fictional Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time playing in the background.

Advertisement

It’s a nice-looking scene on its own merits, but a breakdown from Kidding’s YouTube channel makes it even more impressive. The video splits the screen in two, the right side showing the finished scene as it aired while the left displays the complicated set and wardrobe changes necessary to make it work in a single take.

The crew moves with Jenga master dexterity, pulling furniture and props out of the shot as others are brought in. Lindholme avoids the camera to quickly switch outfits, hitting each new, narrowly timed mark perfectly. Everyone does their part like a real pro, managing even to keep their eyes on the work at hand when a heart-melting puppy is passed on and off the set.

Whether the same effect could’ve been accomplished with breaks in filming and careful editing doesn’t really matter: it’s just very cool to see a complex single take pulled off with such coordination. The clip also allows anyone who watched it to lean over to their friends while watching the episode in future. “Did you know they did all of this in one shot?,” you might say. “Wow! No Kidding,” they’ll reply.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Advertisement

Share This Story

About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.