So here is a truth bomb for those who didn’t know this; Movies are not shot in chronological order.
And it is logical and not just cost effective. If a film has 15 scenes to shoot in one particular location and they appear during the various times in the film, it just means that they have shot all of those scenes at once.
But there are some directors who choose to shoot the script in the order.
Considering it is not efficient to shoot the movie in a chronological order, why would anyone do it?
(Not it’s not always OCD)
Well the directors think it’s the best way to get the peak performances out of the actors. And many directors just almost prefer to make the movies shot in order.
For whatever their reasons, some filmmakers don’t mind the possible logistics nightmare of a chronological shoot. Some production decisions are made not with ease in mind but rather with art.
Here are some of the iconic movies that were shot in the chronological order!
1. The Shining
Probably no director in the history of cinema has been more meticulous than Stanley Kubrick. There have been so many stories told on how difficult Kubrick was to work with during the year-long filming of The Shining.
He was so tough on Shelley Duvall that her hair started to fall out and she nearly suffered a nervous breakdown.
The production which was to last 100 days but it lasted for 250 days.
Kubrick opted to film in chronological order so that he could have the privilege to change things.
He took nine days to set up the blood spills elevator scene because blood didn’t look real enough.
2. The Breakfast Club
The film didn’t hurt the production schedule as almost the entire film took place in a high school library. And the library set was actually built in the gymnasium of Maine North High School in Illinois.
John Hughes’ strategy was shooting of The Breakfast Club like a stage play.
He even made the actors repeatedly rehearse the entire duration of the script, a script he wrote in just two days, before he began actual production.
3. E.T. The Extra- Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg is the best director to work with the young children.
E.T. the Extra- Terrestrial is about a small group of children, led by Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore, and their relationship with an extra terrestrial, who they are trying to hide from their parents.
In order to get the realistic emotions from the the young actors during the emotional farewell scene where E.T. returns home, Spielberg opted to shoot the film in order.
The kids were really emotional during the climax because they knew movie was going to end that day and meant saying goodbye to everyone on set.
Platoon directed by Oliver Stone was based on his person experiences as an Army combat infantryman in Vietnam. He opted to film this war film in most chronological order to get as much emotion as possible out of each actor.
So basically, whenever a character died in the battle, they would leave the set and go home and not return. And the entire filming process was extremely grueling.
5. The Revenant
The Revenant was a difficult film to shoot considering the extremely cold temperatures and even the rocky environmental conditions. And if that wasn’t enough, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu insisted that he had to shoot the film in chronological order.
Well we can’t question it like the film won three Academy Awards; one for Iñárritu, which made him the first filmmaker to ever win back to back Oscars for Best Director. And of course, Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home his Best Actor Oscar.
6. 9 1/2 Weeks
The movie 9 1/2 Weeks is about a sadomasochistic, obsessive, and ultimately degrading sexual relationship. Director Adrian Lyne shot the movie in a chronological order to break Kim Basigner down emotionally and we can see that when character Elizabeth breaks down throughout the film. And on the set, when people watched Lyne’s treatment of Basinger were shocked and extremely disturbed at the intensity with which the director handled the actress.
7. A Beautiful Mind
Ron Howard as well opted to film A Beautiful Mind in chronological order to allow Russell Crowe the chance to depict the progression of John Nash’s erratic behavior.
And as the film proceeds the brilliant mathematician Nash delves further and further into schizophrenia. Ron Howard’s fantastic narrative strategy paid off. The film won four Academy Awards including Best Director for Ron Howard.
8. Saving Private Ryan
The entire production had to follow the story in chronological order and Steven Spielberg called it demoralizing. And with the filming the Omaha Beach battle at the beginning of the film was strictly chronological and it went on for four-weeks.
Rope directed by Alfred Hitchcock was shot in chronological order as the film plays out in the real time. He wanted to see what it was like to shoot a film in one continuous take. But that wasn’t possible back then since a camera magazine only held 10 minutes of the film.
This crime drama starring James Steward had to thus be divided up into 10 takes.
After the end of each take, Hitchcock would use an invisible edit to hide the cut.
10. Dawn Of The Dead
Dawn of the Dead the remake by Zack Snyder in 2004 was also shot in the order.
The reason for the zombie apocalypse is never explained and the word zombie is also never really used in the film.
The very original ending had the remaining survivors collectively decided to commit suicide rather than become zombies.
However, the “test” audiences hated this really blah and bummer ending.
Later, a new ending was written and the crew had to get back together in order to reshoot. ( And we are glad they did it)
The survivors then winded up defeating the zombies and escaped away on the helicopter.
Yes, it may be a horror flick but that doesn’t mean audiences don’t deserve a happy ending!