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 Taste||1987||4||Shot primarily on weekends over the course of four years.|
|BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment, Redux VI||2017||38||Kidlat Tahimik began shooting in 1979, with the film being released unfinished in 2010, 2015 (Redux III) and 2017; film production is still ongoing.|
|Begotten||1989||3||An experimental film by director E. Elias Merhige, the director worked mainly alone and had to act as uncredited roles in the film.|
|Blood Tea and Red String||2006||13||A stop-motion animation film. Director Christiane Cegavske worked primarily alone.|
|Boyhood||2014||12||Filming 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.|
|Coffee and Cigarettes||2003||18||The first segment filmed in 1986, while the final six were completed in 2003.|
|Dimension||2010||7||Filming 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.|
|Eraserhead||1977||6||Due to the minimal length of the script, director David Lynch struggled to finance his debut film.|
|Everyday||2012||5||Filming 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.|
|The Evil Within||2017||13||Originally 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.|
|The Fall||2006||4||Shot in 24 countries.|
|Hard to Be a God||2013||7||Filming 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.|
|Hell's Angels||1930||3||Howard 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".|
|Hoop Dreams||1994||5||Filming 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.|
|Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam||2002||6||It took six years to make, with huge sabbaticals between shoots due to production problems.|
|It Happened Here||1964||7||Filmed by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, who began work on the film as teenagers, with a cast that mostly consisted of amateur actors.|
|Jet Pilot||1957||8||Howard Hughes' other fighting plane film which was shot between 1949 and 1951.|
|Khrustalyov, My Car!||1998||7||Production lasted for seven years due to difficulties in financial backing.|
|Lake of Fire||2006||16||A 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.|
|Los resucitados||2017||23||Filming 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.|
|Man in the Mirror||2008||38||Work on the film began in 1970 and was finished in 2008.|
|Marketa Lazarová||1967||7||Works started in 1960 and finished in 1967.|
|Marwencol||2010||4||A documentary film initially planned to be shot over a single weekend, the director wound up taking four years to work on it.|
|Meru||2015||3||The first portion of the documentary film took place in 2008, while the final portion was shot in 2011.|
|Movie 43||2013||4||Filming spanned four years in order to work around the ensemble cast members' schedules.|
|Mughal-e-Azam||1960||14||From 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.|
|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.|
|Othello||1951||3||An adaptation of the Shakespeare play directed by Orson Welles. The total production time stretched from 1948 to 1952. Welles also produced Filming Othello, a documentary about the making of this film, from 1974 to 1978.|
|The Other Side of the Wind||2018||48||Principal 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.|
|The Tragedy of Man||2011||23||The film went into production in 1988 but encountered difficulties as the production model for Hungarian cinema changed.|
|Pakeezah||1972||14||Filming 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.|
|Perspective||2020||9||A 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.|
|Redline||2009||7||Animated over seven years using 100,000 hand-made drawings.|
|Roar||1981||11||Directed 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. 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.|
|Samsara||2011||4||Filmed on location in 25 different countries.|
|Shoah||1985||11||The first six years were devoted to recording interviews conducted in 14 different countries.|
|Shōjo Tsubaki||1992||5||Work on the film began in 1987 and was finished in 1992.|
|Sleeping Beauty||1959||7||Disney animated film; production spanned 1951 to 1958.|
|The Slow Business of Going||2000||5||Shot 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 Cobbler||1993||29||Work on the film began in 1964 and was finished in 1993.|
|Tiefland||1954||4||Work on the script began in 1934, shooting lasted from 1940 to 1944, and the film was finally shown in 1954.|
|Train Station||2017||5||Filmed in 25 countries, 40 filmmakers collaboratively wrote and filmed it over a period of five years.|
|Twenty Years Later||1984||20||Work on the film began in 1964 and was finished in 1984.|
|Voyage of Time||2016||13||Although 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.|
|Where the Dead Go to Die||2011||3||Director, animator, writer, and composer Jimmy ScreamerClauz would stop animating the adult animated horror film for months at a time, before starting again.|
|Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East||1989||7||Bae Yong-kyun, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, spent seven years making this film with one camera and editing it by hand.|
|Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?||1994||13||Kidlat Tahimik began filming in 1981.|
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