Daniel Von Fange

Life, Code, and Cool Stuff

Split Screen Acting

One day this week, my sister decided to shoot a movie in an evening. She wrote a script and then played all six parts herself. Rather impressive. However the necessity of only having one of herself onscreen at a time was rather limiting.

Remembering the spilt screen technique used in the Parent Trap, I wanted to try to duplicate the effect.

First, we shot a conversation with me filling in for the duplicate Elizabeth. We had a conversation, then switched places on the couch and then said each others lines. Having a real live person to speak back too vastly improves the naturalness and timing of the footage.

I then imported the video into Final Cut, and selected a frame to use for the base of my mask. I imported that frame into photoshop and divided the two scene areas with a selection. I followed the line of the couch (probably unnecessary, but they always tried to follow lines in the Disney ones.) I then blurred my mask by about 3 pixels, so that there would be a smooth transition between the two areas.

Back in Final Cut, I lined up the video tracks, and applied the mask to upper one. Then for the audeo, everytime I was speaking in an audio track, I keyframed the audio track level to off.

The final result came out pretty good.