I came across a question linked here: How do they film the mirror scenes in movies?

I found it interesting that most examples came from popular and from recent films. Here is a clip from Lady in the Lake 1947, the scene shows a man from a POV as he walks through the room (NOTE: the whole film is in first person), the camera turns to the mirror and our hero appears. Now it was probably done with camera angles as it was 1947 but Citizen Kane was 1941 and he implemented techniques beyond his time such as over-lapping shots, blacking out background and foreground and then meshing the shots together.

My question is can anyone find a reliable source explaining how THIS mirror trick was done in the movie?

The mirror trick starts at 2.04 - the clip is only 2.35

  • 2
    What was tricky about this shot? It is clearly filmed from an oblique angle - you nearly see the woman's full back, most of which would be obscured if shot nearly full front-on as you suggest. THAT shot would require a trick to eliminate the trace of camera.
    – wbogacz
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:09
  • @wbogacz: Filmgoers and television viewers have become accustomed to the idea that when someone is looking at themselves in a hand mirror the audience should see their face reflected in the mirror, even though that can't work unless the camera is off axis and the person is looking at the camera in the mirror. The same principle applies here.
    – supercat
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:48

2 Answers 2


There's no actual trick here.

The man is standing directly in front of the mirror (directly in front of her) but she's looking at the camera to make you think he's standing in front of the camera.

Screen shot of video

The camera is off at a 60 degree (or so) angle from the mirror, so it would never catch itself in the frame.

I've made an overhead view to help clarify it.

Overview shot

  • First that's probably right it was simple, i was trying to get other people to see all the cool films out there and different ideas. Thanks. Tho
    – akors
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:21
  • @akors I do work in the industry... It's not a "trick". It's just how it's done. I suppose you can call it a "trick" if you want... but it's just a normal mirror shot.
    – Catija
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:22
  • Same, some camera men still call it a trick tho.
    – akors
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:27

That was pretty easy. The camera is on an angle to the mirror, probably about 15 feet back. Zoomed in so it looks closer. But you'll notice it's still on an angle to the mirror. The actor steps into frame without any problems, and because the camera is so far back and off to the side you can't see its reflection.

A tougher one is the dressing room scene in Sucker Punch.

This one was actually done with doubles. There's one small place where you can see they're slightly out-of-sync, but most of it was done spot-on.

  • 1
    Example seems bit off to me.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Jul 30, 2015 at 6:30

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