Birds of Prey’s Fantabulous One Shot Club Scene

Director Cathy Yan breaks down the club scene in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2019). “According to the director, capturing the molly party that ensues required multiple camera handoffs, in a cinematic feat of coordination that begins at the 1:15 mark above. Originally written as a more conventional montage of Harley getting obliterated over the course of one night, Yan and her director of photography Matthew Libatique decided to embark on something more technically challenging than a series of stitched-together vignettes. They wanted to convey an entire party arc succinctly, while maintaining the whirlwind tone of a film that’s as hyperactive as its anti-heroine. The resulting single shot required the camera to physically switch hands three different times, chasing Robbie as she weaves in and out of view, disappearing into a throng of extras, some of whom were actually essential below-the-line staff members.”

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