Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.
How the Complicated "Mirror Shot" From the Movie 'Contact' Was Created
'Contact' was a really great SciFi film from 1997 starring Jodie Foster. The movie features a really tricky shot where as a kid the main character finds her father apparently deceased lying on the floor. In a panic she runs up the stairs into the bathroom to grab his medication. What's interesting is that once she opens the mirror on the bathroom cabinet it appears the entire shot was done from the perspective of the mirror.
Check it out below.
Wow! How'd they do that? In the video below effects supervisors Ken Ralston and Stephen Rosenbaum explain how it was done.
And here's a quote from Quote from Carin-Anne Strohmaier who was the films 1st Assistant Film Editor
".....a Steadicam person with the Vista Vision camera strapped to his chest ran backwards in front of Young Ellie as he goes up the stairs and down the hallway - there was a speed change - we ramp from 24 to 48fps (though I can't remember exactly - we could have ramped through three different speeds) - by the time she stops and puts her hand to open the medicine cabinet door ("A" plate ) - we are then inside the reflection. The medicine cabinet was the "B" plate (second plate) and then the door closes and we have the "C" plate (third plate) which was the reflection of the photo of Young Ellie and her dad. By the way - the first time we received this CGI shot as a final (completed & ready to be signed off) Bob Z noticed that the picture frame did not match the one in the Arecibo Puerto Rico bedroom with older Ellie and Joss so they had to have an insert crew reshoot the "C" plate with the correct picture frame and re-composite the shot over again - not an easy thing to do since timing was critical in getting everything to match up. I also liked to give our Avid assistant, Orlando Duenas, credit since he did the initial line up of the shots in our cutting room which Sony Imageworks used as a guide."