the-adventures-of-tintin

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"Sir Francis, he was a figurehead of great courage and bold exploits. No one like him ever existed in my family. Why do you think I drink? Because I know I’ll never be like him.”

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The Adventures of Tintin : The One-Long-Shot Chase Scene
(fanmade music version, because the original clip wasn’t available and this doesn’t detract away much from the scene)

I just recently watched this movie again and the fact that it didn’t make it big made me depressed because it’s an excellent movie. However, I just wanted to take a moment to truly appreciate this scene in particular. I remember liking it a lot in the theaters and it wasn’t until I rewatched it that I truly realized why it captured my interest so.

It’s all done in one camera shot.

It’s amazing, and this scene would be impossible to do with live action film! Greatly enjoying animation myself, this scene again has given me renewed appreciation for the 3D medium and what it can truly do for the style of your story-telling. The fact that they used it for an action sequence is even more unique!

Think about the last action movie/scene you saw. Or, if possible, go look one up really quick. I’m going to tell you now what you’ll find: dozens and dozens of quick shots sliced and put together to really drive home that intense feeling. It’s not really a sell-out technique, it’s just a reliable one for getting your audiences’ blood pumping. This action sequence is completely new, however, in that there’s no one-shot splicing done at all. It’s just one long, topsy-turvy, panning shot of the chaos erupting over the city as Tintin and his pals try to wrestle 3 important scroll parchments from their adversary. 

It makes me wonder if, by doing the pacing this way in one long-shot, that’s how this movie was able to have such an “intense” action sequence but still keep a family-friendly rating. It doesn’t scare kids as much by flashing them with a bunch of violent images, but rather sweeps and glides them along an action-packed amusement park ride. It’s rather fascinating to analyze the differences in pacing.

But overall, I must stand in amazement at the skill in directing and planning this took. An entire city needed to be invented to specifically cater to the needs of the chase. There was no going back and reusing a street twice from a different angle; a path had to be mapped out all the way from the mountain side down to the sea. The camera tracking was exceptionally done with the freedom that comes using 3D, and masterful timing of the action (and humor). And then all the general modelling, texturing, lighting, and animating in general… I just…I can hardly imagine. 

But it makes me WANT to imagine. Something like this could depress a person into thinking they can never do better, but this… It makes me want to think more about the types of skills I’d need to accomplish something like this. It makes me want to learn more and try harder.

Isn’t inspiration wonderful? It is the cure to envy.