There’s a ton of great moments in Ryan Coogler’s “Rocky” spin-off film “Creed,” but the most jaw-dropping takes place right in the middle of the film – the first professional boxing match of Adonis (Michael B. Jordan).
The entire boxing match, with multiple rounds, is seemingly presented in one single take. The camera is right in the fight throughout, ducking and weaving right up close between the two opponents and will then drift to the trainers yelling instructions or Adonis’ girlfriend in the crowd yelling support.
You can see just a sample of the sequence below, the entire scene runs for several minutes in the final film.
New details about the scene have been revealed in a new interview that Coogler and Jordan have given to Buzzfeed. The pair reveal that the scene was done in one shot and deliberately so with Coogler purposefully not shooting cutaways. Thirteen takes of the shot were done in total, but the scene had to be stopped whenever the fight choreography was flubbed.
This meant only the eleventh and thirteenth take were usable. The eleventh take is the one in the final film and the entire sequence is from that take – no bits of the thirteen or other takes were spliced in. Coogler didn’t have a back-up plan in case the single take didn’t work, only hoping the editors could edit together a version from all the different takes.
Jordan spent roughly a week blocking out the one-take fight on a make-shift boxing ring was set up next to the Creed production office. This involved getting the choreographed moves right with a real-life professional boxer (Gabriel Rosado) and the main Steadicam camera operator (Benjamin Semanoff) who would weave in-between the actors throughout the sequence.
The match was filmed on the third day of principle photography, which was also Sylvester Stallone’s first day reprising his iconic role. CG was used for the scene where Adonis gets hit which opens a cut on his face. When the camera wasn’t the filming the actor for a few seconds in one part of the scene, make-up artists quickly applied practical fake blood to Jordan’s face.