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Shot-for-shot (or shot-for-shot adaptation, shot-for-shot remake) is a way to describe a visual work that is transferred almost completely identical from the original work without much interpretation.
In the film industry, most screenplays are adapted into a storyboard by the director and/or storyboard artists to visually represent the director's vision for each shot, so that the crew can understand what is being aimed for.
From comics/graphic novels to film
- Sin City - Directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller filmed most scenes shot-for-shot from Miller's graphic novels.
- 300 - Director Zack Snyder photocopied the graphic novel and constructed the preceding and succeeding shots.
- Watchmen - Zack Snyder again used the graphic novel as his main storyboard, featuring several shots that are almost identical to their literary counterparts.
From comics/graphic novels to television
- The Adventures of Tintin comics series was adapted into The Adventures of Tintin television series, often with many of the panels from the original comic transposed directly to the television screen.
- The Marvel Super Heroes animated series used extremely limited animation produced by xerography, consisting of photocopied images taken directly from the comics and manipulated to minimize the need for animation production.
- The Maxx - Sam Keith and William Messner-Loebs' Image Comics series was adapted in an animated television series by Rough Draft Studios and MTV in 1995. Richard Mathes wrote of it, "The cartoon version of The Maxx follows the comics' art almost line-for-line. Instead of attempting to cartoon-ify the dark tone of the comic books, the producers made the decision to use animation that is nearly identical to the panels within the Image comics. In addition, the animators did as little animating as possible. They don’t insert motion just to show that they can; instead, they hold on to shots, using movement only when absolutely necessary."
Film to film
Some films are remade in an almost identical "frame-to-frame" fashion.
- Joe Dante's Piranha was remade by Scott P. Levy and was the first shot-for-shot ever, with different actors.
- Alfred Hitchcock's black-and-white Psycho was remade by Gus Van Sant as nearly a shot for shot remake, with different actors.
- Michael Haneke remade his own 1997 film Funny Games, which was in the German language, into a 2008 American remake in English, also with different actors.
- Amateur filmmakers Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos, and Jayson Lamb created a shot-for-shot adaptation of Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark during their youth in the 1980s. The film was unearthed and championed years later by filmmaker Eli Roth; a movie about the boys' creation of the film is in production.
- Luc Besson's 1990 French film Nikita was remade as 1993's English-language Point of No Return by John Badham. Except for the language translation, only minor changes were made, and the two films are largely shot-for-shot identical (particularly action sequences, such as the "laundry chute dive" restaurant escape).
- The 1934 and 1957 film versions of The Barretts of Wimpole Street were not only shot-for shot and scene-for scene, but were both directed by Sidney Franklin. The major differences between the two are that the 1934 version was filmed in black-and-white and in standard Academy ratio, with a cast nearly evenly divided between British and American actors, and the 1957 version was made in color and Cinemascope with an all-British cast, except for Jennifer Jones.
- The 1939 film The Four Feathers, based on the novel by A.E.W. Mason, and its 1955 remake Storm Over the Nile were not only both made in color, but like the two versions of The Barretts of Wimpole Street, used the same script.
- Alfred Hitchcock's remake of his own film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, used numerous identical shots during the concert sequence in Albert Hall.
- The 1937 and 1952 film versions of The Prisoner of Zenda also used the same screenplay, with the added twist being that the older version was released by Selznick International Pictures, while the 1952 Technicolor version was released by MGM, which had purchased the rights from Selznick.
- The 1925 film The Unholy Three starring Lon Chaney was remade shot-for-shot as a sound version in 1930.
- Tom Savini's 1990 remake of George A. Romero's Night Of The Living Dead has been called a shot-for-shot remake.
- Little Women was released in 1933, with Katharine Hepburn, and was re-released in 1949 with June Allyson, both portraying the character Jo. Sally Benson and Sarah Mason were scriptwriters for both films, and title illustrations and music were the same in both films.
- The Sound of Music, released in 1965, was a close copy of the earlier German film The Trapp Family, filmed in 1956. The major difference was that the Hollywood musical used original songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, but the German film used folk and classical music actually performed by the Trapp Family Singers.
Animation to animation
- Orphan's Benefit, 1934 and 1941 versions
- Tops with Pops and Love That Pup
- Many scenes from Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone are recreated shot-for-shot from the original television series Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Manga to anime
Many Japanese anime series that are based on a preceding manga series strive to adapt the story without many changes. If the anime and manga are being produced concurrently, however, and should the anime overtake the release of new source material, the producers might then be forced to create their own new ending to the story, go on hiatus, or create a "filler arc" with an original story arc that non-canonically continues the story until more material has been created.
Some directors pay tribute/homage to other works by including scenes that are identical.
- The Odessa Steps sequence of The Battleship Potemkin has been emulated in several films, including The Untouchables, as well as the film Brazil.
- The 400 Blows has a scene identical to Zéro de conduite as a homage.
- The famous "cropduster chase" scene in North by Northwest has been the subject of numerous homages and parodies.
- The Dreamers contains numerous homages and reconstructions of scenes from films such as Bande à part, Blonde Venus, Freaks, Scarface, Queen Christina, À bout de souffle, Sunset Boulevard, and Mouchette.
- The Disney film Enchanted includes numerous homages to animated films done shot-for-shot in live-action.
- Star Wars Uncut is a Shot-for-shot, fan-made remake of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan by director Darren Aronofsky feature homages to the 1997 movie Perfect Blue by Satoshi Kon. Aronofsky bought the remake rights to Perfect Blue in order to use these shots.
Many comedy works that rely heavily on parody use shot-for-shot as a substance of humor.
- Many Simpsons episodes parody other works by using shot-for-shot representation, such as a scene in "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can" taken from Requiem for a Dream.
- The television show Family Guy commonly transitions into shot-for-shot remakes of famous scenes, sometimes depicting the original actors, at others inserting characters relevant to the current episode.
- The web site Funny or Die produced a shot-for-shot remake of the 1977 Bing Crosby and David Bowie duet of "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" starring Will Ferrell as David Bowie and John C. Reilly as Bing Crosby.
- A shot-for-shot remake of Kanye West's "Bound 2" music video was made where James Franco imitates Kanye West and Seth Rogen imitates Kim Kardashian.
- Mathes, Richard (2007-05-29). "The Maxx -- The Only Thing MTV Never Screwed Up". Tubewad. Archived from the original on 2008-01-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20080123222154/http://www.tubewad.com/featured-the-maxx-the-only-thing-mtv-never-screwed-up-1664-p.html.
- "Will Ferrell And John C. Reilly Team Up For Christmas Parody Video"
- Sampson, Mike (November 25, 2013). "Seth Rogen and James Franco’s Shot-for-Shot Recreation of Kanye West’s “Bound 2″ Video". ScreenCrush. Retrieved November 26, 2013.