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At 1h34m29s, Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) is assassinating somebody.

He is standing outside the target's home, looking through the window at his intended victim as they watch TV. He applies a piece of clear tape to the window, then holds his silenced pistol up to the tape and fires. A small section of window glass breaks, and the victim falls dead.

The camera does not cut during this sequence, and it uses a narrow depth-of-field to focus first on Ghost Dog's tradecraft at the window, and then on the victim as they die.

How did the filmmakers cause the glass to break in this shot?

The tape is obviously a life-hack that prevents the whole window from shattering as the bullet passes through it. But, presumably, there was no real bullet. The tape is transparent, and we see the (out-of-focus) victim through it as Ghost Dog takes aim, so it's plain the tape is not hiding some part of the gimmick.

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The first muzzle-flash conceals an invisible cut. When you see the gun fire, they pause the footage, hold the gun in position, move a piece of broken glass into the frame and then restart the camera. They then fire another blank round round through the gap.

If you look closely, you can see that it's a different piece of glass after the first blank round is fired (the dust on the glass has moved, the sellotape magically disappears, etc).

enter image description here

It's a nicely performed shot, no pun intended, but not especially innovative.

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    As to how they broke the glass, I'm going to assume they used a ball-peen hammer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 8 at 16:36

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