Last night I attended the 21st Sydney Kino – a monthly “open-mike night” for film directors. It was good fun, aided by a generously stocked open bar! The quality of the films was high, and more importantly; it was inspiring.

I’ve had an idea in my notebook for a few months now of an interesting setup for making a Polaroid-perspective film. The shot shows the polaroid camera fixed, and the background moves as if the video-camera is attached a few centremeters in front of the Polaroid. The idea is to run the film backwards, synchronizing important sound cues with the moment the Polaroid falls (backwards) fully developed into the camera, and then slowly fades. Nods obviously to the film Momento and it’s opening scene, but I think it’s can be a fantastic effect for telling a story just by itself.

Here’s an outline of the set-up I was thinking of to capture the action.

Polaroid Setup

  1. LCD/TV or projector screen showing video footage from a handicam held like a Polaroid camera, facing “backwards” and moved towards face to simulate photos being taken.
  2. Real Polaroid camera on a tripod, with film. Camera set up to take photos of image on second screen. Held by read hand, and triggered on cue. The owner of the hand is of course tucked uncomfortably away somewhere.
  3. Plane of glass to allow Polaroid camera to face video camera, but take shots of second screen. Will this work so easily in practice? I certainly need to experiment.
  4. Laptop and screen displaying whatever you want the polaroids to be.
  5. Video camera.

An example shot, showing the background image, the real hand on real camera, and the developed shot:


Finally, in acknowledgement of my Polaroid-toting friend who at one stage looked like Warhol (and who is aggressively territorial of the Polaroid camera I gave him – even with me):

Let me know in the comments of your thoughts or any points of practical impossibility that might be obvious to others. 🙂