A scrim special effect question:


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I am currently producing Flowers for Algernon. During one of the scenes Charlie kisses Alice Kinnian and then notices a phantom of his younger teen self. I was thinking about creating a mirror with a covering of a scrim material and have "Teen Charlie" appear in the mirror. My question:

1. What kind of lighting am I going to have to use in order to create this effect? I know that I have to keep the front lit at a sharp angle until the "appearance" and then back light it. Will I have to worry about light spills from the wash lighting already up in the scene?

2. Any tips that will help me achieve this would be greatly appreciated.


Believe it’s already been discussed. Might do a search into Dracula or Scrim.
For the most part, you have a parallel to the scrim narrow shaft of bright light with very little spill on the scrim and especially nothing on the upstage area. The angle of light you choose will have a effect upon what type of appearance you get be it from the top, high sides, sides, low sides or foot. Or any combination there of gelled or not. The more wattage in these very controlled beams, the better. I did 3,000w. from two low side fixtures last time I did it, my how the ghost glowed. This effect is of the past however so a white light only glow might not be just right for your application however.
A little bit of reflective sparkles on costumes and makeup if not UV-Paint or Phosphor such as at least Arco Starch (believe that’s the brand that most fluoresces) in addition to UV makeup might help. Using well shielded narrow shaft of light black light lamps or not, there will be some UV in white light that will benefit from this.
I would recommend doing sort of a blue/white from the top and amber/orange/pink from the low sides and see what it does for you.

While you can do some rear lighting, it more throws the face trying to project thru the scrim into shadow and in hitting the scrim makes it harder to project thru and appear the color of the light on it. Can be useful if you want to draw attention to the mirror, but the face etc. still need visibility.

On the scrim itself, there might be some form of Rosco like Designer product that will be both reflective and able to be rear lit. Otherwise, I might attempt to spray paint the scrim silver and add some touches of the base color of the set’s walls to it in making it seem as if it’s reflecting.

Good luck, have fun. Famous effect for Dracula that’s well published about.
Thanks Ship,

We'll experiment with that tonight.


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