Creating Doubles



Evolution of this effect


Why not use twins? Sometimes they do, but most actors don’t have an identical twin.


Dual roles, nobody is trying to fool anybody, the audience is in on the gag.


Actor needs to be onscreen with themselves:

  • Use a body double
    • From behind or over the shoulder
    • Extreme wides, out of focus
  • Masks
  • Split screen
    • Visible
      • Combine multiple exposures
    • Invisible
      • Physical interaction, crossing the line, is a problem
        • Creative use of body-doubles to bridge the gap
          • g. hide the split in other character’s wardrobe
          • Or make it not a hard line but a cut-out
          • Even cutting around the figure with the mask
        • Camera movement
          • Up to here, camera was unable to move
          • Can simulate it by using rear projection
          • Or use a motion controlled camera (on a track)
          • Mixing live action and animation
            • Use rigs that will be animated over
            • Back to the Future II (hand off of book using rig so the camera on a track can move)
            • The effects should serve the story and not the other way around
          • Keying
            • Film element against green screen and keying out that
            • Put the double in the background
            • Benefit is when you have characters overlapping or crossing in front of or behind themselves
              • Danger of him walking through himself
              • But you can use that as an effect (he can’t touch anything)


  • Digital – new era with infinite possibilities
    • Facial animation and performance capture
      • CGI over face
      • Even use a cardboard cut out
    • Head rig with mounted camera (Avatar)
    • Mix and match new techniques with old ones
%d bloggers like this: