Beam Splitters

We attached a piece of teleprompter beam splitting glass at 45 degrees in front of the lens looking down at a shiny black surface, below the lens. We mounted the camera on a piece of plywood with a hole in front of the lens with the beam splitter looking both forward and down at the same time. On the shiny black surface supported by the plywood Gabe animated flying snow for shots of boarders flying off cliffs. The snow on the black surface blended into the cliff until the puppet left the cliff and then it drifted down in the shot. A video camera looking down from the top of the beam splitter gave a composite shot of what the camera saw. We lit the baking soda on the black surface with lights at a low angle. The soda being closer was out of focus, which we desired, but diopters below the beam splitter could make the black surface sharp if desired. The process is time consuming but you can do shots in camera on the original negative. We added flying snow in other shots in post.

If exact alignment of the video assist camera is needed, a beam splitter like this could be used. You would loose a little resolution going through the beam splitter glass. It would also be a cumbersome attachment on the front of the film camera. Black velvet should be used below the beam splitter so no detail reads.

© Copyright 2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.