Timecode (2000 film)

  (Redirected from Timecode (film))

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.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byMike Figgis
Produced byMike Figgis
Annie Stewart
Written byMike Figgis
Music byMike Figgis
Anthony Marinelli[1]
CinematographyPatrick Alexander Stewart
Edited byMike Figgis
Screen Gems
Red Mullet Productions
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[2]
Release date
  • April 28, 2000 (2000-04-28)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million
Box office$1,431,406[3]

The film is constructed from four continuous 93-minute takes that were filmed simultaneously by four cameras; the screen is divided into quarters, and the four shots are shown simultaneously.[4] 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.


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.


An illustration of the split-screen technique used throughout Timecode

In the first run through, Headly's role as Dava Adair was performed by Laurie Metcalf.


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-staff music manuscript 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 over fifteen 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.[4][1] The first rehearsal recording was included as a bonus feature on the film's 2000 DVD release.

The film's action ends with closing activity in three quadrants and the following statement (no capitalization beyond film's title) in the fourth quadrant:

TIME CODE was filmed in
4 continuous takes beginning
at 3:00 pm on friday,
november 19th, 1999.
all of the cast improvised around
a predetermined structure.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (April 26, 2000). "Time Code". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved September 25, 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. ^ "Time Code (2000)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "Timecode (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Williams, Richard (August 11, 2000). "Once upon a Time Code". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 3, 2013.

External linksEdit