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Shooting in reverse and then reversing it

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john titor
Shooting in reverse and then reversing it
on Jun 25, 2012 at 10:54:36 am

I'm trying to find information on this method that was used in Coppola's Dracula (1992). They used it for the vampire brides and Lucy's movements into the coffin. I'm not sure if this is how they achieved it, but did they basically just get the actresses to move backwards and then the flip the footage to get the desired effect? So basically Sadie Frost, who plays Lucy, moved out of the coffin and they reversed it so it looks like she's going back in when Van Helsing uses the cross on her? Is there any material I should read up on for getting the most out of this effect because it was really cool in Dracula, it gave the vampires a very unnatural otherworldly appearance.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Shooting in reverse and then reversing it
on Jun 25, 2012 at 1:03:50 pm

John-
You may want to cross-post this to the Cinematography forum. But given that this was from a 1992 film -- 20 years ago -- you're likely to have a hard time finding much. You have however detailed how the effect was done, just not the fine-tuning of maximizing it. That takes experimentation, even with detailed information on how someone else did it.

This does however remind me of a trick used sparingly in my radio production days. (Considerably more than 20 years ago.) The "alien voice" technique involved recording a short piece, then flipping the tape over to play it backwards, carefully memorizing the phonetics of the backward recording, voicing those sounds to a new piece of tape, then flipping that tape to play backward. With care and practice the new version is quite intelligible but the reversal of the attacks and decay provides an extremely other-worldly sound.

Best of luck with your experiments.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Shooting in reverse and then reversing it
on Jul 11, 2012 at 2:39:37 pm

This technique Nick Describes was used in the TV series: "Twin Peaks".


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Nick Griffin
Re: Shooting in reverse and then reversing it
on Jul 11, 2012 at 3:14:58 pm

[Mark Suszko] " This technique Nick Describes was used in the TV series: "Twin Peaks"."

So you're telling me that something we were playing around with in radio in the late 1970s ended up being used in a 1990-91 TV show... Where's my royalty check? (OK, not really my technique per se, my buddy Charlie showed it to me and chances are somebody showed it to him.)


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