Sam Mendes Filmed “1917” to Look Like One Single Shot

Sam Mendes. Photo by Maja Smiejkowska/Shutterstock (9582125do)

This movie is designed to be one shot.”

1917 director Sam Mendes was joined by Roger Deakins, co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, producer Pippa Harris and co-stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman on stage at the film’s preview panel at New York Comic Con on Thursday.

The movie’s set in two hours of one day in the spring of 1917, after the Germans —retreated to the Hindenburg line. It follows two young British soldiers, played by MacKay and Chapmen, who are tasked with delivering a message that will save the lives of countless men.

“It’s across this landscape that the two young men are sent to preserve the lives of 1,600 men who are to be sent to attack the Hindenberg line,” Mendes e explained. “The movie takes place in just two hours and in one unbroken shot.”

“It was so exhilarating and exciting when it worked that it kept you going for days at a time,” said Mendes, who also added that before cameras started rolling, the actors underwent intense preparation.

“We rehearsed this movie more than I’ve ever rehearsed any movie,” Mendes said. “You can’t jump through space and time. You have to measure the set to match the dialogue, and you have measure the distances.”

1917 hits theaters this December.