Film School: The Spielberg Oner

A still from Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' (1975)

A look at how the master delivers story and character without cutting.

Every Frame A Painting looks at director Steven Spielberg‘s use of the single take, and his techniques such as reframing, to tell volumes purely through carefully-planned camera composition and movement:

StudioBinder diagrams the blocking of oners in Jurrassic Park (the original, of course, and still the best):

A key element in Spielberg’s filmmaking, alongside or even integral to his reframing, is his sound design. Watch Nerdwriter‘s stunning deconstruction of a Spielberg oner in Munich (2005):

Further Viewing

Director David F. Sandberg (Shazam!, Lights Out, and Annabelle Creation) looks at examples from director (and Spielberg associate) Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump, and in particular here, What Lies Beneath) where the oner is used to cover entire scenes (and keep production moving by reducing the number of setups):

And just because it’s one of the more influential and referenced shots in the history of cinema, here’s the tracking shot from Wings (1927) (via All The Right Movies):

More on sound design, in the films of Spielberg and others: