List of films with longest production time

This is a list of films shot over three or more years. The list excludes projects comprising individual films not shot over a long period, such as the Up Series, The Children of Golzow, or the Harry Potter film series.

List of films

Film Release year Number of years Notes
Bad Taste19874Shot primarily on weekends over the course of four years.[1]
BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment, Redux VI201738Kidlat Tahimik began shooting in 1979, with the film being released unfinished in 2010, 2015 (Redux III) and 2017; film production is still ongoing.[2]
Begotten19893An experimental film by director E. Elias Merhige, the director worked mainly alone and had to act as uncredited roles in the film.[3]
Blood Tea and Red String200613A stop-motion animation film. Director Christiane Cegavske worked primarily alone.[4]
Boyhood201412Filming took place once or twice a year, starting in summer 2002 and ending in October 2013. The cast and crew gathered to film scenes for three or four days annually.[5]
Coffee and Cigarettes200318The first segment filmed in 1986, while the final six were completed in 2003.[6][7]
Dimension20107Filming took place in three-minute segments from 1991 to 1997. The original plan was to film once a year, from 1991 until 2024, but director Lars von Trier abandoned the project in the late 1990s. The finished footage was released on DVD in 2010.[8][9]
Eraserhead19776Due to the minimal length of the script, director David Lynch struggled to finance his debut film.[10]
Everyday20125Filming took place twice a year, once in summer and once in winter. The cast and crew gathered for a few weeks each time, whenever they had gaps in their schedules.[11]
The Evil Within201713Originally titled The Storyteller, filming began in 2002, with director Andrew Getty constantly starting and stopping the film's production. Getty died in 2015, two years before the film's release with only editing and color correction remaining, leaving editor Michael Luceri to finish the film on his own.[12][13]
The Fall20064Shot in 24 countries.[14]
Hard to Be a God20137Filming took place on and off for a period of seven years, beginning in the autumn of 2000 and was followed by an additional six years of post-production.[15][16]
Hell's Angels19303Howard Hughes' fighting plane film, referenced in The Aviator. A long shooting schedule, made longer when Hughes decided to add sound at the advent of "talkies".[17]
Hoop Dreams19945Filming included over 250 hours of footage. Originally planned to be a 30-minute piece for PBS, Hoop Dreams developed into a 170-minute documentary that took three years to edit.[18]
Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam20026It took six years to make, with huge sabbaticals between shoots due to production problems.[19]
It Happened Here19647Filmed by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, who began work on the film as teenagers, with a cast that mostly consisted of amateur actors.[20]
Jet Pilot19578Howard Hughes' other fighting plane film which was shot between 1949 and 1951.
Khrustalyov, My Car!19987Production lasted for seven years due to difficulties in financial backing.[21]
Lake of Fire200616A documentary film. Director Tony Kaye filmed this documentary over a period of 16 years; he funded it by spending $6 million of his own money.[22]
Los resucitados201723Filming began in 1994 on both video and 8 mm. First rough cut was assembled in 1997, but lost shortly thereafter. It was later discovered, incomplete, with portions of audio missing. Final cut with a completely new dub was released to film festivals (including Sitges Film Festival) in 2017.[23] [24]
Man in the Mirror200838Work on the film began in 1970 and was finished in 2008.
Marketa Lazarová19677Works started in 1960 and finished in 1967.[25]
Marwencol20104A documentary film initially planned to be shot over a single weekend, the director wound up taking four years to work on it.[26]
Meru20153The first portion of the documentary film took place in 2008, while the final portion was shot in 2011.[27]
Movie 4320134Filming spanned four years in order to work around the ensemble cast members' schedules.[28]
Mughal-e-Azam196014From its beginning in 1946 to its release in 1960, several crew members including the producer and cast were changed. The film was also abandoned briefly during the Partition of India.[29]
On the Silver Globe 1988 12 After production was shutdown by the Polish cultural authorities in 1977, the film's director, Andrzej Żuławski, returned to Poland in 1988 and smuggled the remnants of the film to the Cannes film festival where it was screened for the first time. The missing segments of the film were filled in with shots of modern-day Warsaw while Zulawski's voice-over explained which segments were missing.
Othello19513An adaptation of the Shakespeare play directed by Orson Welles. The total production time stretched from 1948 to 1952.[30] Welles also produced Filming Othello, a documentary about the making of this film, from 1974 to 1978.[31]
The Other Side of the Wind201848Principal photography began in 1970 and concluded in 1976. After four decades of difficulties that interfered with the editorial and post-production processes, the film was finished earlier in 2018 and was released in November 2018.[32]
The Tragedy of Man201123The film went into production in 1988 but encountered difficulties as the production model for Hungarian cinema changed.[33]
Pakeezah197214Filming began in 1958 and continued until 1964 when lead actress Meena Kumari separated from director Kamal Amrohi. The film was put on hold for five years until fellow actors Nargis and Sunil Dutt convinced Kumari to finish it in 1969.[34]
Perspective20209A Canadian feature film wherein each of its nine chapters was completed a year apart over a nine-year period. The first eight of the nine chapters were completed in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively, while the last chapter is to be completed in 2020.[35]
Redline20097Animated over seven years using 100,000 hand-made drawings.[36]
Roar198111Directed by Noel Marshall, the film's production was constantly delayed after numerous accidents arose, such as a flood from a dam that burst 3 years into filming, which destroyed equipment and the ranch built for the film.[37] The most notorious production halt was the injuries resulting from an estimated 70 attacks to cast and crew members throughout production while working with 150 untrained lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, cougars and elephants.[38]
Samsara20114Filmed on location in 25 different countries.[39]
Shoah198511The first six years were devoted to recording interviews conducted in 14 different countries.[40]
Shōjo Tsubaki19925Work on the film began in 1987 and was finished in 1992.
Sleeping Beauty19597Disney animated film; production spanned 1951 to 1958.
The Slow Business of Going20005Shot one scene at a time over a period of five years in hotel rooms and other locations in various countries. The script was constantly evolving and there was just one consistent cast member, with various other actors appearing in each scene.
The Thief and the Cobbler199329Work on the film began in 1964 and was finished in 1993.[41]
Tiefland19544Work on the script began in 1934, shooting lasted from 1940 to 1944, and the film was finally shown in 1954.[42]
Train Station20175Filmed in 25 countries, 40 filmmakers collaboratively wrote and filmed it over a period of five years.[43]
Twenty Years Later198420Work on the film began in 1964 and was finished in 1984.
Voyage of Time201613Although the actual production for this documentary began in 2003, Terrence Malick has been filming footage since the 1970s and the film features scenes that were filmed in the 1970s, such as the scene featuring Aboriginal Australians.[44]
Where the Dead Go to Die20113Director, animator, writer, and composer Jimmy ScreamerClauz would stop animating the adult animated horror film for months at a time, before starting again.[45]
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East19897Bae Yong-kyun, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, spent seven years making this film with one camera and editing it by hand.[46]
Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?199413Kidlat Tahimik began filming in 1981.[47]

References

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  2. Small, Christopher (April 16, 2019). ""That's Thirty Years of Footage I've Accumulated": Kidlat Tahimik on BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment and His Pioneering Career in the Philippines". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
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  4. Kernion, Jette (September 30, 2006). "FF Review: Blood Tea and Red String". Moviefone. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
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  30. Keough, Peter (June 26, 2014). "Orson Welles's 'Othello': Moor! Moor! Moor!". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
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