So many things can go wrong while filming a movie. Actors can get injured, set pieces can come apart, and most often than not directors will take hundreds or even thousand takes of a single scene to make everything look perfect. The cast and staff members hate repeating the same scene over and over, but art requires sacrifices, and in the end we, the viewers, will get to see something marvelous!
Here are 7 movie scenes that took incredibly long to film.
1. Deep Action in Helm’s Deep
Peter Jackson’s legendary trilogy about a certain Ring is definitely a fan favorite, and it’s not just because the story was written by Tolkien. Turning text into reality was no small feat for Jackson and his crew, but one of the most prominent scenes in the second movie was the incredible Battle of Helm’s Deep. This bombastic conflict lasted for 40 minutes and was filmed over 90 days, or should I say nights. That’s right, 3 months of shooting in torrential downpours resulted in mere 40 minutes of screentime.
2. Toby’s Real-Life Spidey Sense
Remember that canteen scene in Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man? Yeah, yeah, the one where he catches all the food on the tray while also balancing Mary-Jane. Just like most of the fans I thought this was some camera trickery or just plain old CGI, but, as it turns out, I was wrong. It took Toby 156 takes to nail that scene.
3. A Titanic Budget Stretch
We all know the tragic story of the R.M.S. Titanic, and most of you have probably seen James Cameron’s take on that disaster. Because of his dedication to the craft and an ever-expanding production budget, the movie’s release was pushed almost 6 months. What can you say, this ambitious project just kept sucking the resources from Fox and Universal, until it became the most expensive movie ever made at the time. Luckily, it was all worth the wait in the end! And as to the hardest scene to shoot, there wasn’t one, but Cameron went underwater to visit the real shipwreck countless times, to get all the details right.
4. The Original Hallway Fight Scene
Did you know that the hallway fight scene in Marvel’s Daredevil is an homage to a similar fight in a 2003 Korean thriller Oldboy, where the main character kicks butts of 25 very naughty boys. All that in one long take. It is simply mesmerizing.
5. All Bat and No Play Makes Wendy a Dull Girl
Many good (and bad) things can be said about Stanley Kubrick and his adaptation of the Shining, but one thing is certain – he’s definitely either a perfectionist or a crazy person. There was this one scene in particular where Wendy stood up against Jack with a baseball bat. It took Kubrick 127 attempts and landed him in a Guinness Record book!
6. Jaws Were… Sinking?
Okay, so I hope we all agree that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was one of the most terrifying summer blockbusters ever. First time I saw it on TV I was scared of getting into a bathtub! I also hope you know it wasn’t a real shark, but a cool (and by that I mean terrifying) robot. Mecha-shark and water don’t mix well together, sadly, so there were a lot of “maintenance” moments during the filming process. The worst fail was when the Orca (name of the boat) nearly sank because the mechanisms doing the things they should do tore a huge hole in the hull putting the crew and cast in immediate danger. Luckily they patched up the boat and saved all the footage from that day. The filming jumped from 55 to 154 days in the end.
7. Disney’s Fantasia
Animation takes much longer than just filming stuff on a camera. And in the early days of Disney Fantasia (1940) was considered a technical marvel. Back then “Ave Maria” used the longest single shot in the history of animation. It’s incredible how creative people can get with seemingly ordinary tasks. After this time-consuming scene was finished, the crew realized they used the wrong lens, so all that effort was wasted. Oh but wait, there’s more. During the second take, a freaking earthquake shook things up. Finally, on the third time everything worked out great and the film was safely sent to New York, hours before the premiere.