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Gabe Dunne © 2002
Featuring : Laura Young
Crew : Matthew Gale, Li Xu
Best Special Effects, Shorttakes 2003

“Analyzing a reflection of reality can show us truths that were previously invisible.”

This is a story about reflections in mirrors. We experience the journey of a character caught between what is real, and what may not be. In the end, the story leaves us with one, unanswered question: Can a mirror reflect more than reality?

The premise of The Mirror is that reflections are the link between two dimensions: Reality, and the Reflection World. We follow the character as she explores the connection between these two worlds, left to question if one is a more tangible reality than the other.


The Mirror
was shot in 4 weeks on MiniDV, composited with Combustion and After Effects, and edited with Avid Xpress DV.

Originally, the first sequence was to be shot in an old, run down Bank down in the Old Bank District in downtown LA. However, after shooting a few scenes on location that included 6-foot Laura running through hallways wearing a bodice, we began attracting attention and were quickly exiled from that location by the manager. We weren't allowed to come back until we had a million dollars liability, and 500 grand for equipment insurance. (It wasn't in our back pocket). We proceeded to shoot the sequence at the stairwell and rooftop of the Molecular Science building on the UCLA campus, at around 8 in the morning before anyone could bother us.

The main effects sequence was a combination of footage, animation, and compositing of various elements I collected throughout the shoot. I wrote the sound before animating the sequence to get the pacing to feel comfortable, (or uncomfortable, depending how you look at it).

Shooting the desert footage proved to be the biggest challenge of the entire project. High winds, 60 pound closet doors, huge red sheets, and bright, piercing sunshine didn't help the situation. Neither did the equestrians that would ride by periodically and get spooked by the reflections, as well as comment on the sight of the mirrors and the dress out in the middle of the sand.

Secret Outtake Reel...

These videos were compressed for the web with the following settings:

Quicktime Mpeg 4
Audio: 128 kbits/second, Stero
Video: Improved, 1024 kbits/second, 30fps, Key Frame every 24 Frames