During The Book of Eli (2010) there is an extended gunfight scene where the camera passed through a window, pans around, and then goes back out the window.

How was this achieved technically?

If this was a hand-held camera, how would the camera operator get through the window. If suspended, how do we not see what is suspending the camera as it pans around to look back through the window?

There's no apparent cut, so I assume it is actually a continuous scene, or possibly chromakey mixing the inside and outside scenes using the window frame to crop it?

Unfortunately due to filesize limits I couldn't upload here, so please refer to streamable for low-res clip:

Still of scene

  • 3
    Looking at the frame by frame, the second one is definitely a cut, and the first one very much looks like one too - though it does flow more naturally than the second one.
    – Flater
    Sep 17, 2020 at 23:07
  • I used Screen2Gif to capture the footage. It shows each frame in turn, but using that I still couldn't locate the actual frame(s) where the cuts were made. IMO, it's really well produced!
    – EvilDr
    Sep 18, 2020 at 8:18
  • 1
    The cuts have been merged/blended (not an editor, don't know the name), but in the frame with the window + inside (especially with that bullet explosion in it) it comes across as being two merged images to me. Not proof, just a feeling.
    – Flater
    Sep 18, 2020 at 8:51
  • Yes that's what I assumed. Using chromakeying that would be pretty easy as the window itself makes for a perfect "frame" that the screen would sit behind, and then get pulled forward as the window goes around the camera. Hmm, I think we maybe just answered the question ourselves... :-D
    – EvilDr
    Sep 18, 2020 at 9:17
  • 1
    How to transition from a drone camera to a gimbal shot in an interior through glass: youtube.com/watch?v=RzELe8clhlI
    – Valorum
    Jul 15, 2023 at 20:33


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