Woody Harrelson stars in the world’s first live feature-length film
“No one’s ever shot a movie and live-broadcast it in cinemas at the same time,” Woody Harrelson says. “No one’s ever been that stupid, until now.”
Harrelson is the writer, producer, and star of Lost in London, a 90-minute feature film that will be shown live in theaters as it’s filmed Thursday night. The story was inspired by a 2002 incident in which Harrelson broke an ashtray in the back of a London cab late one night, then attempted to get away in a second cab before running from police on foot. He spent the night in jail.
“It really was one of the worst nights I’ve had,” Harrelson told Vice News. “And I don’t know why I later thought, comedy! You know, this thing could be a disaster.”
The film’s cast also features Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson — playing themselves.
“They both made very sober judgments, fortunately,” Harrelson said. “They read the script, they really liked it, and they wanted to be a part of it.”
Harrelson originally intended for the story to be written as a play, before settling on a movie. Thanks to a suggestion from his cinematographer, Nigel Willoughby, Harrelson then decided to shoot the movie live in a single take in the style of other films that use the “one shot” technique, like Russian Ark and Victoria.
“[Willoughby’s] contention is that when you’re following this thing as it’s happening, and as soon as you make that first cut, you become a little self-conscious of the camera,” Harrelson said. “He said let the camera be the audience.”