Last year I shot a short film to be displayed on Plaid Magazines online website. I came up with this concept years prior and it’s an effect that I have been experimenting with since I used to shoot skiing years back.
Anybody without a film or photography background is normally baffled by the effect simply because it seems much harder than it looks. To achieve the effect that the main character was going through some sort of vortex and change live infront of the camera was actually quite easy.
To start, the lighting has to remain the same all the time, any tiny little change to the lighting will make the shot appear as if it’s a jump cut. This rule also applies to camera/mirror (prop) position. The camera and mirror must remain locked off so that it never moves and the two shots taken can be overlaid to one another and appear seamlessly as one shot in the editing room.
I shot the first look/scene as normal, and before the transition shot, I would shoot him travelling through an empty frame and repeat that process at the beginning of the second look. Simply put, it’s one of the easiest ‘in camera’ effects that you can do. The more you practice it, the more you pay attention to the details, the better it will look as a finished product.