Watch ‘that scene’ from Sunday’s True Detective

Talking of directorial innovation in American TV, HBO/Sky Atlantic’s True Detective has progressively been turning into a ‘must see’ show. Episode four, which aired on Sunday in the US, included a particular directorial flourish that you can watch below: a six-minute long tracking shot, done as a single take. It’s pretty impressive to watch and shouldn’t spoil the story too much if you haven’t been watching and intend to – or if you have been watching but haven’t seen episode four yet.

It reminds me of Point Break‘s famous chase scene, which although not a tracking shot, gave a similar almost first-person view of the narrative.


  • aylwardreed

    I hate to party poop such a great scene(seriously, it's damn fine, as is the show) but I'm pretty certain there's a cut when they pan up to the helicopter.
    I feel bad just pointing it out…

  • I think that's the official 'end of shot' moment, when the audience is explicitly told 'this is the end'. Unless there's an earlier helicopter shot…

  • aylwardreed

    Ah no, I meant when the camera pans up to the helicopter at the 2:50 mark.
    I've also heard some people say that there's a sly cut when the camera goes through the door at 5:00 but I'm not so sure…

  • The director says it's a single take. I imagine the pan up is just so that people can move around and do things out of shot before the camera comes back down again:

  • aylwardreed

    Ah well hats off to the guy. I suspect those two moments were the possible cuts they mentioned even if they didn't use them in the end.