Discover a Camera Trick That Stanley Kubrick Used in 2001

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How many of you have said that you will never need to use math in real life after you finished school?

If you have made it this far without using all that “useless” math skills, then it's time to reach deep into your memory and recall exactly what an isosceles triangle is.

In a world where digital filmmaking is the new norm there are some old skill sets that are being forgotten. Inventions such as green screens, After Effects and other modern computer aided techniques are replacing older “analogue” techniques.

I always try to read about things that filmmakers used to do prior to computers. Part of the reason I do this is because I am interested in the history of storytelling in motion pictures, but the other part is because I like to find ways to tell stories in camera wherever possible. Sometimes I find I can save money, time or do something that can't be done as well in post (don't send me hate mail that everything can be done in post).

Front Screen projection used to be the standard for creating backgrounds in live action scenes. One of the most famous is the “Dawn of Man” opening of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. That was done because there was no computer software or green screens to do that shot. What might surprise you is this technique is still done today on major motion pictures with real budgets. Several scenes in Tom Cruise's Oblivion where created using front screen projection.

Check out Shank FX video showing you exactly the materials you need and the setup to shooting your own front screen setup. Try it out and send us your results. We would love to see them.

Happy Shooting.


Via Youtube Description:

Before there was Green Screen, there was Front Screen Projection.

In this episode we attempt to walk in the footsteps of Stanley Kubrick and try to
create visual effects using the magical Front Screen Projection technique.

Key component is SCOTCHLITE™ screen by 3M™ Contact 800-929-3975 , Safety Effects, LLC ( ) for quality ‘family' distributor. Tell 'em SHANKS FX sent you.

The sheet we purchased was an 80 inch screen and cost $117.

Music by:

In association with PBS Digital Studios

[ Source: Filmmaker Magazine ]

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

Barry Andersson

Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. Mr Andersson takes his real world experiences and shares those images and lessons with everyone from the US Marine Corp combat camera teams, many of the leading teams of the four major sports leagues, leading universities around the US as well as leading productions looking to take advantage of the latest technology.

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