Camera Through Mirror Transition in Premiere Pro (Tutorial)

How to recreate the mirror transition scene from Contact (1997) in Adobe Premiere Pro. A simple camera trick and an amazing transition.

Like we discussed in the article about flying with Harry Styles, practical effects are in every movie. This week we got inspired by on older movie named ‘Contact’. In this movies there is a famous mirror scene, where a girl runs in a hallway and will running the shot goes over into the mirror image of her opening a cabinet. This one shot looking scene is actually 2 shots combined. They use a steady cam to record the running scene. For the mirror they wrapped it in blue screen (we use a green screen) and keyed it out so it would be transparent. Now you just have to match the two shots and that’s all. With this effect you can create a seamless transition between two shots.

Shot-1-running-scene
Shot 1: running scene
transition-running-shot-and-cabinet-shot
transition: running shot and cabinet shot
shot-2-cabinet
shot 2: Cabinet shot

Mirrors are very commonly used in movies. They can create awesome effects like the one from “Contact”. But another well know effect and quite similar is from the movie “Mister Nobody”. Here the camera moves into the mirror and to the reflection, to shot 2. This can be seen as the inverse effect from “Contact”.

The most difficult thing when working with a mirror is the reflection of the camera. You can of course film in a angle so the camera won’t be visible. But what if you want movement and this movement is in front of a mirror. In the Movie ‘Sucker Punch’ they create a mirror effect with body doubles. This means there weren’t any mirrors on the set, just a fake wall with a hole where the mirror should be. Then they place the actor with there face towards the camera and a body double with their backs to the camera. The body double then mimics then movement of the actor and this will create a mirror reflection effect.

3 thoughts on “Camera Through Mirror Transition in Premiere Pro (Tutorial)”

Leave a Comment