True Detective - Six minute single take tracking shot - no edits, no cuts - Who Goes There

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From the moment Rust Cohle grabs the hostage, the camera never cuts away until they get in the car. I just wanted to clarify that the original video was very smooth, and that certain points where it might appear "jumpy" was caused by Youtube conversion. This scene was indeed done in a single take, as can be confirmed in the article below, by the creators of the show. Several edit points were built in but weren't needed in the end. All rights belong to HBO Productions and Nic Pizzolatto, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Comments from Youtube

muhamme0 : This scene itself is better than the whole season 2.

Lopan : Just my humble opinion, but this is the most impressive and intense scene in television history.

sam : This was one of the most intense scenes in tv history, I was literally on the edge of my seat. Can't wait until season 2.

21Sept : Police officer Rustin Cohle on undercover as a drug dealer busting other drug dealers' drug stash with the help of other actual drug dealers... disguised as police officers. That is some deep sh!t...

Dan : Amazing scene. Work of art. Masterpiece

Chunk Yogurt : One of the most impressive one take shots i've seen in a LONG time. 

Bernardo Casqueira : It reminded me of GTA missions, 

Vinícius Pires : one of the best seasons of all tv shows i have ever watched. unfortunately hbo took a shit on the second season


Jonathan Anatrella : I love the attention to detail in this entire series, this scene in particular was great. Rustin Cohle never fires his gun once, while the others shoot preemptively. It really shows his character's level of discipline and self control under pressure. Also the gun detail was great, how firing the guns indoors makes their ears ring and sets off the smoke alarm. One of my all time favorite shows.

Nick Shaeffer : Cary Joji Fukunaga is a talented dude. The cinematographer and other crew members involved deserve props too.

Kenny Williams : As a film student this is so amazing its inspirational I'm going to try this continuous shot on my next short film

Dave Collins : This is INCREDIBLY hard to do. I worked on a movie where we had a 4 minute one of these and it was pure hell.

katyga : if someone wants to see excellent tracking shots, you should watch Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuaron. One of the best when it comes to this kind of work. 

Jesus Delgado : Props to including Clan in the front by Wu Tang Clan.

Michael : It strongly reminds you of a video game sequence.

MarkDeMort : I love how this show managed to be better than the highest rated (on IMDB) show Breaking Bad, in only 8 episodes.

verbalhologram03 : Best television scene of all time?

That Guy : I love all the people trying desperately to find an edit. Can't yall just enjoy the scene?


SteveRes : One of the greatest scenes I've ever seen on a tv show. Puts most Hollywood movies to shame. Just fantastic

CrashN2Me1000 : And they tried some "Season 2" shit after this.....LMAO!

Mike Frander : I was completely alone when I watched this. But when the credits rolled. I stood up and applauded for like 2/3 minutes straight. This is one of the greatest scenes in TV.

MrKajithecat : I'm so glad McConaughey has started picking good projects to be in. 

Jay Thompson : Should I give this show a chance?

Senior Adrian : This shot is a masterpiece.My mind was blown at the level of orchestration.

Brazzo81 : Best scene on TV ever. Speaking of tracking shots, everybody is mentioning Children of Men, and for a good reason, two amazing tracking shots in that cinematic masterpiece. I know I saw a very very good 5-min tracking shot in an Argentinian movie called "El Secreto De Sus Ojos" (Secret in their Eyes). Shot is filmed on a crowded soccer stadium and set in the 80's... I loved it very much. Movie is very good too, it won Oscar for best foreign language movie.

Sino Deutsch : Wu Tang "Clan in da Front" wu tang killer bees wu tang killer bees SIXTYY SECOND ASSSSASSSSSSIN the relentlessness of that song is what perfectly immediatly sets the pacing of these scene...  perfect music choice

Garrus1995 : Even though we all knew Rust would make it out of this (he's alive in the present) I was definitely on the edge of my seat. Some truly amazing suspense here.

J. A. Collins : So a lot of the shots are framed on a kind of three shot or semi wide angle. Pulling in closeups when necessary, probably for lines mostly. But then they move on the steady cam as the characters move,leading the camera's path. They move, stop,duck, roll around...get back up and move on the path again. It looked like mostly  left to right straight lines and the camera pivots on the angles when they stop, to maybe create more disorientation for tension purposes. But then, then they come to that fence. the camera is then HOOKED to a sort of JIB (quick release lock?) lifted up to keep the framing ,then unlocked as they get over and continue the path. All the while the extras, the sound department , BOOM guy , wranglers and prop department moving along right behind the camera. Cueing everyone and everything. The helicopter flying in and hitting its mark, which is in the night sky. All rehearsed in what, two days? That's fucking complicated. really,really complicated. Bravo to one of the most complex shot sequences executed for television. Ever.

SonOfGod3000 : WTF did I just watch? Looks like Apocalypse Now meets Boyz in tha Hood.

Ivan Trevino : The show was a masterpiece.

Umair Mojaddidi : I honestly did not notice that this scene had no cuts within it that's how much i was into it. The directing was incredible and very clever to use this at this scene to create intensity. Fucking hell i was so into it i had no clue and it all came into me when i saw the credits rolling LOL. Brilliant man and also Matthew McConaughey was outstanding in this scene.

Y O : one of my all time favorite scenes ever

NastyNasIsIll : Dallas Buyers Club was really good but I'm convinced that McConaughey got his Oscar for his portrayal of Rust

Neo2266 : Imagine if some bullshit happened, like the chopper pilot not keeping it straight for the light, or one of the gangsters tripping on their shoelace or something


ripelivejam : this show was lightning in a bottle.

D_ M : Keep holding my breath during this whole scene.

-sunmask- : I have tremendous respect for anyone involved in a long tracking shot. In order for these to work, you have to have the acting, the lighting, everyone in the shot to be top notch.

LegoMatt222 : 0:18 Wu-Tang Clan's "Clan in da Front" playing in the background. :D

n3ckchoke : season 2 can't even compete.

Ahsan Siddiqui : the camera man must be some massive muscular individual.

The Maverick : Edited or not, it's a great scene

El Boto : Best cinematography ever on TV?

Michael Kelly : I'm still stunned by this scene. The tension was already extremely high as soon as Rust walked into the bar, and this was like a head on collision with a semi. Absolutely brilliant work from all those involved

csknives2140 : this scene is awesome but way better with all of the suspense leading up to it

VoxCudaRadio : Matthew Mcconaughey went from a hells angel member to a dude travelling through a black hole to the 4th dimension

Elif : THIS SCENE WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD, IT’S EXTRAORDINARY! I still come to see it time to time, still hypnotizes me.