The “1917” movie actually has a “normal” story, and it’s not too special. The story is that there were two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), who was given the task. They both had to cross German territory to deliver an important message to the regiment of the British army. If the message is delivered, they can prevent the death of around 1,600 soldiers, one of them is Blake’s brother.
The factor that made this film excellent and it was able to produce nominations, as well as prestigious awards, was its execution. Sam Mendes who acted as director, producer, and scriptwriter worked in 1917 with a one-shot technique.
With a one-shot shooting technique, viewers will see the film from beginning to end through a camera point of view. Throughout the film the camera is operated, the camera person must move to follow the actors who move during the story.
Of course, it’s not easy, either for the actor or camera person. If the actor is wrong or forgets the dialogue and the camera person moves the camera wrongly, the recorded scene has to be repeated.
Not to mention the camera person must move slowly so that the image does not shake. Even though there is now a tool for balancing the camera, the one-shot technique is still not easy to apply. It requires patience and careful preparation.
Even so, 1917 did not really apply the one-shot technique as a whole from the beginning to the end of the film with a duration of 119 minutes. However, 1917 showed a film that felt like it was taken with one camera.
There are several scenes in this film that feels one-shot shooting stops to be reconnected. Like when the camera is more focused on objects that exist rather than actors who are in dialogue. Or when entering a room so dark that the screen looks black.
However, that doesn’t matter because the transition is very smooth and it doesn’t feel like it’s been edited. This movie executed its one-shot technique smoothly, so you won’t suffer from a headache when you watch it.