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How Edgar Wright Pulled Off Last Night In Soho’s Big Musical Number

Exclusive: Director Edgar Wright reveals the complicated choreography that drives one of Last Night In Soho’s most mesmerizing sequences.

Last Night In Soho director Edgar Wright reveals how he pulled off one of the most mesmerizing and impressive moments in the film – a dreamy and haunting dance number. Last Night In Soho marks an unexpected but welcome turn into the psychological horror genre for the director, who last forayed into horror with the 2004 zom-com Shaun Of The Dead. The film releases exclusively in theatres on October 29, and has generally received positive critical reviews so far.

Last Night In Soho follows Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), a fashion student who moves to London and discovers an ability to slip back in time to the 1960s, where she inhabits the body of nightclub singer Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy). Though Eloise is dazzled by glamourous 60s London, things quickly take a sinister turn when it appears Sandie may be in grave danger. Constantly shifting between past and present, Eloise’s perception of reality begins to warp and shift – and the consequences of her sixth sense are called into question.

Related: Every Movie Coming To Theaters In October 2021

One of the film’s most intriguing scenes is a dream sequence dance number between Sandie and Jack (Matt Smith) in which Eloise shifts seamlessly in and out of Sandie’s body in a single shot. Now, Wright has revealed all the work that went into making sure they didn’t “break the spell of the movie.” In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, the director broke down the process of constructing the shot, discussing the complicated choreography and how it ultimately became “twice as long” as he originally envisioned. Read his full quote below:

“I think the key to it was that we rehearsed it a lot. That’s the thing. Because those sequences happen in dreams, one of the things of doing these unbroken takes are these very complicated bits of choreography — where there’s body switching and all these sort of sleight-of-hand switches — is that the more you could do it in one take, the more you’re not breaking the spell of the movie in the same way that, Eloise, the spell is not broken in the dream.”

“It was always the idea to have this dance sequence where Thomasin is suddenly in Anya’s body and back again. And so, we conceived it as one long shot. And I think, actually, what happened was that I just storyboarded it in a rough way, in terms of what I wanted to happen and where I wanted things to start in the music. Then Jennifer White, the choreographer, had said, “Oh I’ve come up with these sort of transitions and then, I’ve got some other options.” So she had some other options. And I said, “Let’s do them all! It’s so thrilling to watch. And let’s just see how long we can go with it.”

“So, it became maybe twice as long as I was originally envisioning. But I’m so proud of the shot. And I think, yes, eventually on the Blu-ray extras and stuff you’ll be able to see the dress rehearsal for the shot. And also an aerial angle of that. Because also, it’s a dance between four people: Matt, Anya, Thomasin and the camera operator, Chris Baines, the Steadicam operator, he’s the fourth dancer.”

Last Night in Soho Thomasin McKenzie Anya Taylor-Joy

Parts of the scene are included in the official music video for Anya Taylor-Joy’s cover of “Downtown,” which is featured in the film.  The snippets in the music video show some truly impressive choreography and camera work, which makes the promise of the full scene even more exciting.

Wright is famous for his meticulous use of music and choreography in films, and this is clearly something that Last Night In Soho shares with his previous work. All the rehearsal time paid off to immerse the audience in the dream just as Eloise is in the scene. Last Night In Soho may be a departure from Wright’s usual comedic style, but fans are sure to be mesmerized by the horror film’s ambitious, complicated choreography and haunting narrative.

Next: What Edgar Wright’s Favorite Horror Movies Tell Us About Last Night In Soho

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