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in Filmmaking
on Jul 28, 2004

Filmmaker doesn’t run a lot of letters to the editor. We’re usually strapped for space at our regular 96 or 112 page count, so we can’t publish all the letters we’d like to. One letter that calls out to be published, at least here on the blog, is below. Feel free to post if you can answer this fellow’s question.


I am interested in an adult scene in film and video which is connected with both Paramount (then run by Barry Diller) and Tri-Star (when Columbia was owned by The Coca-Cola Company).

I believe the film was released in 1979 and the video in 1983.

I am interested in the special effects/visual effects relating to a scene concerning a “particular man” and the use of a derivative mirror image scene of his head in video and film.

The scene was constructed with the use of mirrors in which the particular man’s head was substituted onto the body of another man i.e. the particular man’s head replaced the head belonging to another body.

The scene depicts self-stimulation and a sink.

In regard to the creation of the initial scene, one method, I believe was called the shuftan process, or the front-screen projection process, allegedly revised significantly as the innovation process. Apparently, it’s not usually done for replacing performers, but is done to place outscaled objects in the frame by reflecting an off-screen object directly into the camera lens via a front-surface mirror. Part of the mirror silvering is scraped away so that the camera can shoot through the mirror and pick up the talent. Because line-up has to be precise, the camera can’t move.

Can you provide me with any information regarding this scene and can you advise me as to the methods that may be available in regard to checking Columbia’s videotape library?



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