Extraction 2‘s ambitious and thrilling ‘oner’ sequence took four times as long to film than expected, according to its director.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar ahead of the new Netflix movie‘s June 16 launch, Sam Hargrave revealed that the complex, three-part set piece was supposed to be filmed in its entirety across a 29-day shooting block. However, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, which heavily impacted the Netflix film’s development, filming the ‘oner’ spanned the action flick’s entire four-month filming schedule.
For the uninitiated: a ‘oner’ sequence is defined as a long, uninterrupted sequence that appears to have been shot on a single camera. However, thanks to some camera-based trickery and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cuts, ‘oners’ are actually shot in segments before being spliced together to form one, continuous lengthy set-piece in post-production.
2020’s Extraction is well known for its nine-minute long, car chase ‘oner’, which saw black ops mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) fight off countless foes and keep Ovi Mahajan (Rudhkraksh Jaiswal), the son of an Indian drug lord, safe from harm.
In an effort to outdo its predecessor, Extractions 2‘s one-shot sequence is bigger, bolder, and more breathless than what came before. Previously, we learned that Extraction 2‘s ‘oner’ would be over twice as long as Extraction‘s was – a set-piece clocking in at a remarkable 21 minutes. And, having seen the film, we can confirm it’s as long (as well as tension-filled and death-defying) as you might expect.
While there were numerous difficulties to overcome before filming began, there were other, unexpected obstacles that the cast and crew had to cross once production was fully underway.
Asked what the most challenging aspect of filming the ‘oner’ sequence – an extensive, three-part act that forms most of the film’s first chapter – Hargrave said: “[It was] the scheduling and execution of something this ambitious. Generally, the preference would be to shoot it in order, because it takes place in real-time [in the movie] and you want to move from one to the next.
“With filmmaking, it never works out exactly as you’d hoped. We actually had to do this over the course of the entire shooting schedule, so three to four months, rather than the 29 days consecutive days we’d scheduled at various locations.”
Adding to the problems was the fact that the one-shot sequence had to be filmed backwards.
As Hargrave mentioned earlier, the plan was to shoot Extraction 2‘s ‘oner’ in order: first, the nighttime prison section, which sees Rake fight his way out of a Georgia-based jail after liberating a gangster’s abused family from the penitentiary. Next, escaping from said gangster’s bike and car-based fleet of thugs in vehicles Rake and his allies procured before the rescue mission. Lastly, fighting off more armed Georgian gang members aboard a speeding train – including a segment where a helicopter lands on the rail-based vehicle. However, due to various issues throughout development, the long-take scene had to be shot in reverse order.
“We started with the train section at the end,” Hargrave said. “Then, we went onto the prison yard, and after that, we did the car chase. Finally, we went back to the train sequence to film one final small piece because some actors had Covid. So the hardest part was ensuring everything flowed and connected to the next scene. Because it’s such an intricate sequence, keeping our plan on track was extremely challenging.”
Be sure to keep an eye out later this week for our in-depth chat with Hargrave for more on how Extraction 2‘s ‘oner’ came together. In the meantime, read up on how Extraction 2’s explosive official trailer ensured a fiery return to the film franchise for Hemsworth. Additionally, read about Hemsworth’s “obscene” training program for the Netflix Original, or find out if Extraction made it onto our best Netflix movies list.