Director Sebastian Schipper's new film, Victoria, starts simply enough. Victoria, a young Spanish woman played by Laia Costa, meets a group of guys carousing in a Berlin nightclub.
Victoria and her new friend, Sonne, played by Frederick Lau, start to flirt in earnest, but their budding romance is derailed when Sonne gets pulled into doing one of his friends a favor that involves some criminal activity, namely, robbing a bank. Rather than bidding her new acquaintances good night, Victoria goes along for the ride.
Even as he came up with the idea for the film, Schipper decided that he wanted to try to shoot the entire movie -- just over two hours long -- in one seamless take.
Victoria may bring to mind recent films like Birdman, that look like they were shot in one take, but Schipper didn't use any trick camera work or editing. His one-take movie really was shot in just one take.
The inspiration for Victoria was a daydream Schipper kept having about robbing a bank. He figured even the most standard, run-of-the-mill bank robbery would be the most exciting thing he'd ever done in his life. Instead of actually committing the crime, Schipper decided to make a movie about it. In researching for the film, Schipper did consult former bank robbers, some "friends of friends," he said.
Schipper actually shot three one-take versions of the film. They never had a script, but instead went off a story outline, using improvised dialogue. The first take fell flat and the second take was too wild, Schipper told us. He shot the winning take in the very early morning hours of April 27, 2014, using 22 different locations in one Berlin neighborhood.