Traditional SFX

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womblingfree
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Joined: May 16 2001

Hello. Can anyone explain to me the technique used in old films whereby a small set was alligned with mirrors to make it seem as though actors were surrounded by elaborate scenery. Are there any good books or web sites explaining silent/old film techniques and tricks? Your help is appreciated.

George Markie
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Joined: Jun 6 2001

I believe this technique was called the Shuftan Process after its inventor (Fred Process - sorry).

It involved a model set which was reflected in a mirror with a hole cut in it through which the actors were filmed.

I read about it years ago in a book called "Movie Magic" by John Brosnan but it's very likely out of print (it was pre Star Wars).

I'll dig around and see what I can come up with.
George

George Markie
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Joined: Jun 6 2001

Had a quick search on the web and didn't really turn up much.

The person you are looking for is Eugene Shuftan (sometimes Eugen Schufftan). He was a cinematographer (amongst many other things) and worked with Fritz Lang and Hitchcock.

Probably your best bet is trying to track down the John Brosnan book Movie Magic. It was published in the early to mid 1970s.
George

womblingfree
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Joined: May 16 2001

The book (and all John Brosnans other books) are indeed out of print. But I found a used copy on Amazon. Thanks for the information.

George Markie
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Joined: Jun 6 2001

Glad to help