A Mind-Blowing Impossible Shot from the Movie ‘Contact’

This has to do with filmmaking rather than photography, but check out this jaw-dropping shot from the 1997 movie Contact. Can you figure out how it was created? Here’s the answer.

  • Bob

    Do you guys just get all your content from reddit?

  • SwedishKiwi

    Contact… One of my absolute favorite movies. Great storytelling, lot of things to think about, a real sense of perspective.

    I remember that scene. It blew me away.

  • Dave



    i’m shocked


    what’s is your equipment ? i liked your photos from 2010 year

  • 9inchnail

    What’s so special? It’s all fake and edited. No clever camera work. Artistically, it’s well done, but it’s not magic. 

  • Photomajesty

    @9inchnail… My thought exactly! Not an impossible shot when everything is computer generated. No different than Star Wars etc. great scene tho’ but not a “real” shot

  • Nic

    Agreed, I was hoping for something as imaginative as the split screen shot in The Rules of Attraction.
    Still an interesting shot, don’t get me wrong, but I just expected something more than “we bluescreened her in”

  • PupaChrysalis

    Sucker Punch mirror scene trumps it, and without CGI: 

  • Ross Ching

    this is awesome.  I’d love to see more posts like this.

  • GayLetitia

    my co-worker’s sister got paid $21912 the previous week. she gets paid on the internet and got a $416800 house. All she did was get fortunate and put into action the steps given on this link===>> ⇛⇛⇛⇛►

  • Closedquestions


  • Closedquestions


  • traeger23

    Funny that Jena Malone is in both the Contact and the Sucker Punch clip.

  • SwedishKiwi

    That would be my Canon 5D Mark II and various lenses, depending on the image. Some of my best pictures through the years have been shot with the cheap, but good, 50/1,8.

  • Joshua H

    Good call! 

    Also, what a let down with this post. “Can you figure out how it was created?” Ooooooh sounds exciting and must be clever. Nope. 

    Probably my favorite movie of all time and a great scene, but damn you got my hopes up for a second there.

  • Daniel Yu Suzuki

    Hmm, I always thought it was a projector with the prerecorded footage being reflecting. 

  • Ashley Lynch

    I always hated this shot.  By itself I like it, but when I saw this in theaters it completely destroyed the emotional impact because this designed shot forced my brain to jumping logic hurdles.  There’s nothing overly impressive about the execution other than that it’s done perfectly for what Zemeckis wanted.  It’s just a greenscreen panel in place of the mirror and two shots comped together.  Back then it was novel, now it’s child’s play.

  • Dave

     “Back then it was novel, now it’s child’s play.”

    That is kind of like saying the Wright Brothers first flight was no big deal because it would be easier today. It is not really the effort that went in to this shot so much as the concept. It was a very original approach and that is why it is so great. Yes, how it was done has been explained and now we all know. Had anyone on this forum come up with the shot themselves, a lot of patting yourself on the back would be going on.

  • Dave

     The difference between the Sucker Punch clip and the Contact clip is, it is far easier to figure out how the shot was done in Sucker Punch. I figured it out as I was watching it for the first time. I knew how it could have been done before the camera ended up on the opposite side of the mirror. The Contact clip was a mind bender (to me anyway). Both shots were created by very clever people though.

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    similar shot in the adaptation of Stephen King’s Secret Window – the shot is used twice in the film, at the very beginning and near the end to signify the going in and coming out of the insane mind of the author – great stuff.

  • Jesse Cureton

    I love the 50/1.8. Great little lens. Amazing for the price.

  • Kira

    I’m always kinda sad when people who don’t make movies start saying how something in movies “isn’t amazing”. Shows a lack of gratitude, appreciation and humility for human achievement and a profound laziness on the part of the critic. Try sticking your hands in the dirt for a while, sweetheart, and see how hard it is to grow a garden without seeds.