Have you ever tried to hide a camera crew in a mirror? It’s a bit of a challenge. No matter the size of your production, mirror shots in movies are especially challenging. Hollywood has many visual tricks to avoid catching a reflection and to help keep you in the mindset of the movie, while also showing off clever trickery.
So how are all these shots accomplished? The answer is: a variety of ways, depending on the production, time period, and access to CGI. Or even the desire to do everything in camera and practically – which is particularly useful in the budget-challenged environment we so often find ourselves in.
In some cases, there is no mirror. As the legend goes, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton stood on one side of an open frame looking into a double set with body doubles mimicking their every move. Hamilton’s double was actually her twin sister! So with an idea like this, you’re just shooting clever angles that never quite get someone’s face in view, and then using the two actors for the coverage and close-ups.
Check out this video from Insider to see how it’s all done.