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Knives Out Director Rian Johnson Broke A Steadicam While Filming, And It’s In The Movie

Knives Out Benoit Blanc explains things in front of Marta

Sometimes the muse strikes in ways that no one would ever imagine. In the case of writer/director Rian Johnson’s recent murder mystery Knives Out, a moment of such inspiration came from a rather unfortunate incident involving the breaking of a Steadicam on set.

But you wouldn’t notice it, as the transition is so seamless, a fan only just recently noticed it, triggering the ultimate callout. Take a look at the scene and that fun fact of trivia, revealed in the post below:

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Warning: slight SPOILERS are mentioned in the next paragraph. If you haven’t seen Knives Out, skip two paragraphs down for the continuation of this story.

The break looks to have occurred during the big scene where Ana de Armas’ Marta finds out, in front of the rest of the Thrombey family, that she is the sole heir to fortune that Christopher Plummer’s Harlan had amassed.

Just as we cut to the scene outside, where Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc ushers Marta out into the front courtyard, there’s a subtle shift in how Knives Out is captured. The scene continues with a handheld camera following the action, as Marta is overwhelmed by the family, and the footage shared in the Twitter post above ends.

In line with the official Knives Out Twitter’s personal brand, those behind the page retweeted this footage and ratted out Rian Johnson for breaking the Steadicam during the filming of this particular scene. While further details aren’t provided, it could be assumed that the Steadicam rig that was holding the camera was broken. From that point, the production was forced to proceed in capturing the rest of the shot  by removing the camera itself, as you can see at roughly 00:12, where the rocking motion indicates the camera is being unhooked without cutting the take.

The funny thing is, this is similar to the sort of move that director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins use to make 1917 an intense, real-time experience. Only instead of having the shot planned and choreographed as such an experience, this was a surprise solution to a problem that came up on the day.

It works perfectly though, as the disorientation of the moment is perfectly encapsulated in the camera’s movement. Much like the surprise success of Knives Out itself, which seems to have printed money in its release since last November, surprise has inspired inventive solutions and a path forward. And with a sequel on the books thanks to that box office success, who knows? Maybe Knives Out 2 could be a real-time affair? Rian Johnson, the ball is officially in your court.

Knives Out is currently available on Digital HD, 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD. Though if you’re browsing the store shelves for the film, be sure to avoid the very spoiler-y packaging the film seems to have taken.

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.