How That Amazing 'Creed' Single Shot Boxing Sequence Was Created

I think most of us can agree that Creed is one of the best movies of this Holiday season, if not the entire year. Its not just a nostalgia sequel/spin-off as some have written it off as, but a great movie. And since seeing the film two weeks ago there is one sequence which I can't get out of my head, Adonis's first professional match as a boxer which is presented in one single shot. Was it really one single take, or was it cleverly stitched together like the scenes were in Birdman? Find out how the Creed single shot boxing sequence was accomplished, after the jump.

Believe it  or not, the Creed sequence was actually really shot in one single take. Here is a short video clip from the sequence:

Details on the creation of the Creed single shot come thanks to Buzzfeed, who talked to director Ryan Coogler and star Michael B Jordan. Here are a few things learned from that interview:

  • The match was filmed on the third day of principle photography, which was also Sylvester Stallone's first day reprising his iconic role as Rocky. So not only was there pressure to get the sequence right but it was the first day of having Stallone on set in front of an a crowd of extras.
  • They shot the single-shot boxing match 13 times in total. They would stop the scene whenever the fight choreography was flubbed and in the end only takes #11 and #13 being usable. Take #11 is the one you see in the final film, and everything you see on screen is from that take.
  • Coogler purposefully didn't shoot any cutaways because he wanted the sequence to work as a single shot. The filmmaker claims he didn't have a back-up plan if the single take didn't work, but assumed his editors might be able to edit together a version from all the different takes.
  • Just because the shot is one single take doesn't mean there wasn't some help from visual effects: There is a shot where Adonis gets hit opening up a cut on his face which was achieved with computer-generated visual effects. Later in the scene, make-up artists quickly applied practical fake blood to Jordan's face when the camera wasn't filming the actor.
  • Michael B Jordan spent roughly a week blocking out the one-take fight, which not only involved getting the choreographed moves right with a real-life professional boxer (Gabriel Rosado, who also played his opponent in that match) but also the main Steadicam camera operator (Benjamin Semanoff) who would be weaving in-between the actors throughout the entire sequence.
  • To plan out the sequence, a make-shift boxing ring was set up next to the Creed production office, so that the actors, director, camera man, cinematographer Maryse Alberti, and stunt coordinator Clayton J. Barber could run through the scene step by step.
  •  Steadicam camera operator Benjamin Semanoff took boxing lessons to prepare to shoot the sequence. He was especially excited about the shot as Rocky is part of the Steadicam legacy with the camera rig being used for one of the first times in the original film to shoot the shot of Stallone running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.
  • I'd love to see a behind the scenes video of the cheography behind the scenes to achieve this sequence. You can read the entire interview now on Buzzfeed.