Kill Bill: Vol. 1
"The Restaurant Shot", By Larry McConkey
This shot is probably one of the most well known shots of recent years. Without first hand commentary from those directly involved, how this shot was executed would probably still baffle even other veteran operators. Impressing your peers is always the greatest reward.
Source: The Observer, 9/22/02
The production's turning point, most agreed, came on the fourth day - an ambitious Steadicam shot in which the camera needed to snake its way through the bustling nightclub, following The Bride down a flight of stairs, around a corner, then rising up and over a wall to follow her (as though looking straight down from the ceiling) into a bathroom, then back down on the ground, out into the club, across the stage where a band was performing, over a dance floor and up a stairwell on the other side of the room.
'I remember when they described it to me I said, "What was that part about going over a wall?"' says Larry McConkey, a veteran Steadicam operator, laughing.
In the end they had to shoot the bustling nightclub, and then, when the camera turned, remove one of the side walls and roll in a crane that McConkey could climb aboard which then transported him over the wall and into the bathroom. As he shot in there, the crane was rolled out, the wall replaced and the bustling resumed before the camera made its way back.
'I got bounced around pretty good,' McConkey said. 'I never actually hit the ground, but I hit just about everything else.' The intricately choreographed scene required 17 takes, Walsh said, but they got it in one day. 'We knew if we could do that, we could get anything done.'
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A truly amazing shot. One that even operators have to go back and watch multiple times to figure out how it was done. This is a great example of a wonderful relationship between Director and Operator. The Director has to first have the vision for the shot. Then, he must have the trust in an operator to execute it. Larry has certainly earned that trust from Quentin and virtually all other directors in the business. Submitted by: Afton on 9 Jan, 22