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Timecode (film)

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Subject: Saffron Burrows, Real time (media), Xander Berkeley, 2000 in film, Reference desk/Archives/Entertainment/2014 July 30
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Timecode (film)

Theatrical film poster
Directed by Mike Figgis
Produced by Mike Figgis
Annie Stewart
Written by Mike Figgis (story)
Starring Salma Hayek
Stellan Skarsgård
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Suzy Nakamura
Kyle MacLachlan
Holly Hunter
Danny Huston
Mía Maestro
Leslie Mann
Alessandro Nivola
Saffron Burrows
Xander Berkeley
Julian Sands
Music by Mike Figgis
Anthony Marinelli[1]
Cinematography Patrick Alexander Stewart
Edited by Mike Figgis
Screen Gems
Red Mullet Productions
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release dates
  • April 28, 2000 (2000-04-28)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4 million

Timecode is a 2000 American experimental film written and directed by Mike Figgis and featuring a large ensemble cast, including Salma Hayek, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Suzy Nakamura, Kyle MacLachlan, Saffron Burrows, Holly Hunter, Julian Sands, Xander Berkeley, Leslie Mann and Mía Maestro.

The film is constructed from four continuous 93-minute takes that were filmed simultaneously by four cameramen; the screen is divided into quarters and the four shots are shown simultaneously.[2] The film depicts several groups of people in Los Angeles as they interact and conflict while preparing for the shooting of a movie in a production office. The dialogue was largely improvised, and the sound mix of the film is designed so that the most significant of the four sequences on screen dominates the soundtrack at any given moment.

An allusion to this film can be heard during another of Mike Figgis's films, Hotel. In the first moment the screen is split into four quadrants. The sound of milk being steamed in one quadrant combines with the sound of an actor tapping beats onto a paperback novel in another quadrant to create a very subtle imitation of the sounds and music heard during the first few minutes in Timecode.


  • Synopsis 1
  • Cast (in alphabetical order) 2
  • Production 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The film takes place in and around a film production company office, and involves several interweaving plot threads which include: a young actress named Rose (Salma Hayek) who tries to score a screen test from her secret boyfriend Alex Green (Stellan Skarsgård), a noted but disillusioned director. Meanwhile, Rose's tryst with him is discovered by her girlfriend Lauren (Jeanne Tripplehorn), an insanely jealous businesswoman who plants a microphone in Rose's purse and spends most of the time in the back of her limousine parked outside the office building listening in on Rose's conversations. Elsewhere, Alex's wife Emma (Saffron Burrows) is seen with a therapist (Glenne Headly) debating about asking him for a divorce. In the meantime, numerous film industry types (played by Xander Berkeley, Golden Brooks, Holly Hunter and Kyle MacLachlan), pitch ideas for the next big hit film.

Cast (in alphabetical order)

An illustration of the split-screen technique used throughout Timecode


The movie was shot with four hand-held digital cameras, in one take, on the sixteenth performance. Largely improvised, Figgis provided the actors with blank four octave music paper with each octave representing a camera view at that particular moment in time up to the 93 minutes of camera capacity. The actors themselves personally kept track of the activities occurring in other camera points of view that were relative to their performance. Rehearsals were single-take performances, filmed fifteen over days. Filmed in the mornings, with the actors fully involved, the footage was reviewed and discussed in the afternoons. Four separate monitors replayed each camera point of view simultaneously.[2][1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (26 April 2000). "Time Code". Retrieved 25 September 2015. "Time Code" was shot entirely with digital cameras, hand-held, in real time. The screen is split into four segments, and each one is a single take about 93 minutes long. The stories are interrelated, and sometimes the characters in separate quadrants cross paths and are seen by more than one camera 
  2. ^ a b Williams, Richard (August 11, 2000). "Once upon a Time Code". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2013-06-03. 

External links

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