the sequence plan, how ? why ?

le plan séquence, comment ? pourquoi ?

the plan sequence



The plan sequence, is a subject which has been expected for some time by many of you ;o) It is true that the term “sequence” is a little dream, me the first.

I had a huge chance, a few years ago, because I was able to work on a feature-length film composed entirely of sequence shots…it is what it is ! But before we tell you more about this experience, little common, I am going to explain you what is the plane sequence, why it is used and how you, too, you can use them through examples of filmmakers well-known and recognised ;o)

Then the sequence plan what is it ?

As its name indicates, it is a plan that covers the whole sequence from A to Z and who will be “mounted” in its entirety. That is to say that the editor does not cut it, not by intercalating other plans as the so-called cutting planes, will not make effect pane and so on… The plan, which is turned on the platter will be the same once the film is finished.

What is the difference with a Master’s degree ?

I know that I have lost half of the users of the blog lol. For those who are following the articles since the beginning, you know what is a Master, isn’t it ?!

When shooting, it often happens that we turn a Master, that is to say, a plan that covers the entire sequence. As a design sequence in fact ! ;o)

Yes, but what is the difference with the plan sequence ?

This is very simple ;o) the Master’s ” red-line “ in the sequence but the director has planned to make other plans of the same sequence with axes, focal lengths, different fields against fields, etc…

Once all the footage is shot, the editor will take the Master and the entrecoupera with the other shot to punctuate the scene, change their point of view etc…

Why choose the plan sequence ?

Make a plan sequence it is, therefore, to take a real bias as to the staging. Because if you have dialogues, field against field “classic” is prohibited. It is then necessary to find subterfuges to film : turn around the actors, make them move (walk) and adjust the frames, and the axes as a function of the importance of the game etc.

Before the air digital (if if, I assure you, the world already existed ;o)) the sequence plan could not exceed more than 10 to 12 minutes because the stores (slots where you put the film, where we always put the film anywhere else ;o)) could not contain more film. Moreover, the film with the most well-known for having used the plan sequence is “rope” By Hitchcock. Because this film gives the impression of having been shot in 1 single sequence, something impossible at the time. In fact Hitchcock has used the technique of “component*” for we fool.

But I am not going to dwell on this example that has been quoted on many websites ;o)

*Make a component, it is complete the plan in the back of an actor that hides all the field of the camera and then starts again the next plane in a different place, always in the back of a comedian who comes forward and reveals another decor.

Today the “flaps” are more subtle. Most of the time the average onlooker doesn’t realize it. Digital technology allows for things quite extraordinary.

I remember one movie in particular that had me amazed at the time of its release in 1998 : Snake eyes by Brian de Palma. The sequence plan lasts for 11 minutes, i.e. the time of a reel of film. I was so on the C** that I have not been able to see the possible “cuts” or ” components “, Because, let’s be clear, Brian De palma is a genius, but to do this sequence once ! pfff not ;o)

If you have never seen the sequence shot of snake-eyes, here is a link :

12,5 minutes one shot from stadycam on Vimeo.

In another style, just with a dolly, this is what the sequence (and the digital) can do.

I agree with you when sometimes one of the sequences of your script is short and does not require that a plan : it is a sequence plan.

But as you can see above with the two examples I have given you, we can give another dimension to the sequence plan.

But be careful, you don’t need to move in all the directions to be proud of your plan of sequence or to give it meaning.

If you make a plan sequence fixed on one or several characters, this may have an effect beef ! It all depends on what you want to tell ! What happens to the sequence plan of the century in a developer can be zero in another, simply because the issue is not the same.

So I go back on the feature film that I made as awizard staging or the film is composed of sequence shots. This film is called 9mm. It was directed by Taylan Barman 2008. Here’s the trailer :




The challenge of this film was to prepare everything and repeat it a countless number of times, so that the plug is good. Sometimes the camera was 360 degrees, so we had to avoid the light, the team, perch etc…

The filming was done mainly at the steadicam in order to facilitate travel, since the sequence takes on its full meaning when everything is in motion. Basically, in the morning we were preparing the sequence (for large sequences), and in the afternoon we were shooting….it happened to us, of course, run several sequence shots on the same day !!! At the beginning of the article I told you that the plane sequence was the “dream” of filmmakers, in fact the sequence is also a nightmare for our friends filmmakers ;o)

The plan sequence is that used for what ? it tells what ?

In 9mm, the director shows us 3 points of view, that of the son, of the father and of the mother. The sequence thus allows a stronger identification with the characters. The viewer is immersed in its universe, it sticks to the skin of the hero. The sequence plan also gives an impression of real time, which increases the immersion of the viewer.

I propose you a little exercise quite simple. Here is a list of films in which there are sequence shots. Some films are cult classics, have fun to revisit these movies, find the plans, sequences, and let’s talk about that ;o)


Old boy


The bonfire of the vanities

the impasse

Panic room

The war of the worlds

Jacky Brown

To finish off here, as for the article on Wednesday, a video of 7 minutes which explains what is the plan sequence. I found the explanation rather average. They are not really broken in the head but you will understand the difficulty and the preparation that such a plan requires.

If you liked this article, the best way to tell me is to click on the button “Like” at the top of the article and share this article. Thanks to this gesture, you know the blog ;o) Thank you to those who do !

You can also read other articles by returning to the plan of the site, by clicking on the link.

See you soon.

Tom Weil

Category: Uncategorized

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