Visionary directors like to use the steadicam shots to show off their skills to the world. The likes of Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Orson Welles, and Brian De Palma have utilized this technique to seduce their viewers. These steadicam shots normally last for several minutes, are visually very bold and appear to have been produced in an almost impossible fashion. To celebrate this mesmerizing element of cinema, here are the six best steadicam shots in film.
The opening shot of P.T. Anderson’s magnificent 1997 porn epic runs in at 2 minutes and 48 seconds, and is set to the beat of The Emotions’ classic disco hit, "Best Of My Love." It involves an ambitious crane shot and then meanders around a hoard of dancers, introducing us to a number of the main characters in the film. Later on in “Boogie Nights” Anderson then deploys a second steadicam shot, which even features an underwater segment.
Alexander Sokurov’s impressive tour of Russian history is made up entirely of one steadicam shot, and the fact that it runs in at 96 minutes makes it even more impressive. There’s not one single edit in the film, and it apparently holds the record for the longest single shot in cinematic history.
Brian De Palma is regarded as the king of the steadicam shots, and throughout “The Untouchables” he utilized this technique several times. The shot is the POV of Malone’s killer as he creeps around his victim’s house. He finally stops when Malone sees the assailant and scares him away with a shotgun.
Probably, the most famous steadicam shot in cinematic history. Ray Liotta introduces his girlfriend to his gangster lifestyle by entering the Copacabana club through the kitchen greeting and shaking the hands of several people along the way, all to The Crystal’s song, "Then He Kissed Me." Scorsese at his best.
“Touch Of Evil”
Orson Welles is primarily remembered for being the mastermind behind “Citizen Kane,” but his greatest cinematic achievement was the opening shot for “Touch Of Evil” which ran it at 3 minutes and 20 seconds and then culminated with a tremendous explosion. What else could you ask for?
Quentin Tarantino keeps us hanging around with Samuel L Jackson and John Travolta’s characters as they have a quick catch-up before they go and murder their targets. It’s a subtle piece of filmmaking that makes it feel as if we are hanging about with the affable duo.