Use a Mirror to Get the Perfect Overhead Tabletop Shot for Your Productions

There are many tips and tricks that can save you a lot of time and aggravation on set as the simplest ones are usually the most effective. For instance, you can try several ways to pull off the incredibly popular lately overhead tabletop shots by using multiple support systems and accessories such as c-stands, monopods, boom pole holders, or even by getting a portable jib crane in your studio.

However, utilizing these tools can be quite impractical considering the potential inconveniences they could bring in regard to making camera adjustments or tweaking your framing on the fly. This is where a simple mirror may come in pretty handy. The video below shows you an effective way to get the perfect overhead shot for your productions by using a custom-made mirror rig.

To put this setup together, you can use a pair of double clamps to hold the mirror itself and attach them to a sturdy built aluminum frame afterward. It’s also important to get the right position of the mirror considering that an angle of 45 degrees would be perfect for the job on most occasions.

Of course, make sure everything is tight and secured before you get your talent sit beneath the mirror. Regarding the glass choice, it’s recommended to shoot with a telephoto lens that has a longer focal length such as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 or Sony E PZ 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens. This camera setup will allow you to capture a wide variety of shots including small pans and tilts that can add some extra punch to your overhead shots and make them more interesting to watch.

It’s also important to note that you’ll be shooting at the mirror reflection of your image, so any product logos or other text on screen will be reversed. You can easily solve this issue by applying the Horizontal Flip filter in Premiere Pro during post-production.

Last but not least, make sure you also have cleaned the mirror precisely before you mount it on the rig and watch out for unwanted light leaks or other reflections that could potentially ruin your shots and spoil the magic.

[source: benrovids]

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  • Tobias Maigut

    Nice Setup. Btw, what kind of continuous lighting source are you using in combination with the elinchrom softboxes. The ordinary elinchrom modeling lights’ fans of our flash units are to loud for video use. Kind regards!

  • Joshua Reed

    This is so ridiculously logical, I cant believe I have never thought of this!