We have readers that span the spectrum of film professionals, so perhaps extreme long lens shooting is 'old hat' for some of you. But for those that aren't shooters (or those that haven't ventured past what's possible with the 'standard' zoom range of a kit lens), the following video clip may open your eyes to the joy of going really long.
A quick and dirty primer: any lens longer than 'normal' (disputedly around 50mm focal length on full frame 35mm) will create the illusion of compressed space, essentially enlarging the background in comparison to the foreground; the greater the focal length past normal, the more pronounced the effect (and the more light you'll need to bring that background into relative focus).
The video clip in question is from the brilliant 2011 film, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, in which the DP, Hoyte van Hoytema, employed a 2000mm lens in a scene set on a runway, with the landing airplane in the background seemingly about to barrel into the actors.
Check out the video and let us know of other examples of extreme long lens shooting that you enjoy in the comments!