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Behind the Scenes of the 96 Minute Shot, The Russian Ark

Caleb Ward

Take a behind the scenes look at the 96 minute single take movie, The Russian Ark.

If you’ve never seen the 2002 historical drama, The Russian Ark you’re missing out. The Russian Ark takes place in the Russian Heritage Museum but is more famous for consisting of a continuous 96-minute shot. Yes you read that correctly, the entire film was shot in a single continuous shot that lasted over an hour and a half.

The film took over 4 years to develop and we are not surprised. Not only does the film feature only one-shot but the set design and choreography is amazing. The film had over 2,000 actors, 3 orchestras and spanned over the 33 rooms inside the museum.

Here is the entire 96 minute film:

The Russian Ark was incredibly well received. With an 89% user rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 4 stars by Roger Ebert, the Russian Ark is impressive in both execution and form.

Behind the Scenes

The good people who made the Russian Ark, including the director Aleksandr Sokurov, created an awesome series of behind-the-scenes videos to show how they were able to accomplish such a monumental task. We are especially impressed by the Director of Photography/Steadicam Operator Tilman Buttner who is better known for his work in Run, Lola, Run.

Have any other examples of incredibly long takes? Share in the comments below.