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SFX Breakdown - How did they do it?

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Jennifer Adams
SFX Breakdown - How did they do it?
on Nov 19, 2014 at 11:16:51 pm

Hi everyone,

I recently watched this video clip, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and I'm baffled about a special effect they pulled off in it - if anyone has an idea, I'd be grateful if you could share it.







At timecode 0:25 the camera enters the shop in a crane motion, and then faces a large mirror directly. It then moves through the shop, when all the while the mirror reflects the goings-on in the shop, and exposes new angle-accurate information in accordance with the camera movement. I just can't figure out how the reflection on the mirror was made, without exposing the camera, rig, etc. I imagine there was a green screen there originally, but the shop is built in such a way that doesn't allow them to have filmed the reflection footage separately - the angles are impossible, and the precision throughout the camera motion also seems so...

Anyone have an idea?

Thanks a lot!


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Todd Terry
Re: SFX Breakdown - How did they do it?
on Nov 19, 2014 at 11:42:12 pm

Probably a variety of techniques going on there.

Best guess is that there is no mirror, but a greenscreen in it for one setup, and nothing (or clear glass) for the other. Likely an identical (reversed) set built behind the window, and that the actors performed multiple takes on both the "main" set and the reversed set. If you watch the foreground and background, while they are pretty darn in sync they are not PRECISELY in sync, letting us know they are two performances. Obviously a motion controlled shot, and the two setups married together. Lots of compositing and CG work in there as well.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Jennifer Adams
Re: SFX Breakdown - How did they do it?
on Nov 20, 2014 at 12:22:29 am
Last Edited By Jennifer Adams on Nov 20, 2014 at 12:26:28 am

Thanks for your reply! That's actually an interesting idea. Though when you look closely at the first seconds inside the shop (0:24-0:27), you can see a problem with that strategy. Note the hallway to the left of the mirror in the main set. It goes into the depth of the main set, thereby erecting a wall in the theoretical adjacent reverse set. When the camera first enters the shop, its angle shows that the reverse set is much wider than physically possible. I think the possibility of a reverse set becomes viable only around 0:30, when the camera faces the mirror directly and not diagonally.
You can see a clearer illustration of the spatial limitations of a reverse set at timecode 0:57.


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Richard Herd
Re: SFX Breakdown - How did they do it?
on Nov 20, 2014 at 5:46:43 pm

Also worth noting is the singer is in sync sound and the actors are overcranked.


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Jim Wilcox
Re: SFX Breakdown - How did they do it?
on Nov 20, 2014 at 5:59:02 pm

Could be that playback on set was at twice speed and Apple performed to that. Calls to mind Police "wrapped Around Your Finger" which yielded slo mo feel in post when final track is synced at correct speed.


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John Fishback
Re: SFX Breakdown - How did they do it?
on Nov 20, 2014 at 6:07:24 pm

And her hair.


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