This is the latest trailer for the next Metal Gear Solid game: The Phantom Pain. It appears to have been spliced from a cutscene from the game, so I’d like to take this opportunity to show why the cutscenes are one of the parts of this game that I’m most excited for.
It may not process through your head while watching it casually, but every cutscene in The Phantom Pain and (and its already released prequel Ground Zeroes) are shot in a way so that the ENTIRE cutscene is one continuous shot. No cuts.
Because most video games are created through live-imagery, there’s a lot of amazing and clever ways to move this cutscene along without having to instantly cut to a new angle, a lot of stuff that would be impossible in live-action.
This scene, for instance, seamlessly switches between entirely different styles of camera-operation without any transition. As Quiet (our mysterious heroine) jumps from the helicopter, lands, and removes camo, it’s shot with a floating imaginary camera only capable in CGI animation. The camera flies down with Quiet, and on the ground it tracks forward almost like a roomba between the legs of guards to get a closeup of her returning to visibility.
Right after her titlecard appears and her (terrifying) camoflauge returns to her face, it switches to an almost documentary-like camera style. Because this is computer generated, the camera is MUCH more intimate with the characters than would be possible in such a scene in real life. When Quiet vanishes again, the “cameraman” moves around the camera as if looking for where she went. It even waddles up to Ocelot as he gives orders to the soldiers wearing thermal goggles.
It doesn’t appear here, but in some cutscenes in Ground Zeroes the camera even jumps into and out of first-person perspectives of characters, again without any cuts. It’s freaking unbelievable. There probably are hundreds to thousands of individual shots that seamlessly move between each other in this trailer alone.
I really hope Kojima Prouctions discusses their methods of making these cutscenes in the future. There’s all kinds of techniques involving rotational axes of camera-movement and the blocking of characters in motion-capture that MUST have meticulously figured out by the studio to create these scenes. Maybe I’ll make a video about this in more detail sometime when I feel prepared.