… for Visual Effects

Tip #211: 5 Creative Ways to Use Mirrors on a Video Shoot

Mirror tricks to make your productions look bigger.

Image courtesy Shutterstock.com
Use a mirror to capture extreme low-angle shots. (Courtesy: Shutterstock.com)

Topic $TipTopic Jason Boone first wrote about this for Shutterstock.

Mirrors are surprisingly helpful on video shoots – and for far more than checking hair and makeup. As cameras get smaller, mirrors can help you get shots you’d otherwise miss.

Here are some examples:

  • Overhead rig. Put a mirror, rather than the camera, on a C-stand then shoot into it, using it for an overhead angle. A 45° angle tends to work best, because then the camera can shoot directly into it.

NOTE: Remember to flip the video in post to compensate for the reversed image in the mirror.

  • Low angle. Lean the mirror against a book placed on the ground for an extreme low angle.
  • Extra depth. Hang the mirror from a C-stand where the camera would normally be placed. Then, put the camera next to the talent and shoot into the mirror to get extra depth.
  • Fake background. Put the mirror near the talent and use it to create a fake background, if the actual background is uninteresting or objectionable.
  • Reaction shot. When using two or more actors position a mirror to show one actor reacting to another actor. This is a clever way to capture a reaction shot without using or cutaway – or wasting time in shooting a different angle.

EXTRA CREDIT

  • Remember to keep the mirror extra clean all the time.
  • Use a large mirror
  • Bring along an assistant to help with mirror wrangling.

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