I neglected to post a link to this last week, but I thought some of you might still be interested in an article on the Internet even if it is almost one whole week old. Sample:
This is where the inherent tension in the contemporary long take comes from: The director forgoes conventional editing to telegraph intended meaning, instead employing a technique that urges the audience to consider the subject of the shot to be increasingly meaningful.
The long take also allows directors to use the standard magician’s ruse of having “nothing up his sleeve,” because the absence of cuts appears to indicate that there is neither time nor opportunity to insert special effects in a shot. Obviously this isn’t true — everyone unfortunately remembers Cloverfield — but the suggestion persists that a long take can’t be manipulated because some things can’t be faked in real-time.
Which is why it’s interesting that the opening shot of Birdman — before the ASL has even been established — consists of Riggan (Michael Keaton) performing the oldest trick in the magician’s handbook: levitation.