How can I be a double actor
You see twice on television. Within a short period of time, no fewer than three films show actors in a double role.
Christoph M. Ohrt swaps roles with his twin brother on Thursday, Natalia Wörner plays her doppelganger badly on ZDF (The Lie, September 15), and finally Jule Ronstedt argues with her twin in the First Jule Ronstedt (Help, my sister is coming! October 24). At least visually, that's impressive. Nhat Quang Tran, a specialist from the Potsdam company exozet effects, explains in an interview how the visual effects experts manage today that an actor in a double role can even touch himself.
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Mr. Tran, have there been any particular technical innovations in this area recently?
Nhat Quang Tran: You can now do this kind of doubling much better, yes. In contrast to the pictures you know from the 80s. There were some doppelganger stories that were mostly done with a single double exposure. That means: one half of the image was covered, the other side exposed to a scene. Then you rewound the film, covering that side and exposing the other.
You could often see that a bit in the picture ...
Yes, the two characters sometimes didn't look at each other properly, or it was a very rigid image. In the meantime, various techniques have been added.
Blue or green screen. Scenes are rotated and cut out against a blue or green background. "Punched" is how they say in film language. For the twin shoots, this means that there no longer has to be a rigid dividing line between the two recordings. The two figures can also reach into the other half of the picture. That loosens up the matter. We combined green screen in the film Twin Kisses taste better with another technology called motion control. This allows you to repeat a camera movement identically several times. This is important when the same take is rotated twice. Once with the actor in this role, then again in that role.
The camera has to perform exactly the same movement so that it produces a coherent overall image that does not jump. So “motion control” means that a computer controls the movement of the camera?
Exactly. At the end, two parts of the image are combined into one. The hardest part in these twin stories is still the performance of the actors. They have to let go of their usual ways of working with a partner who has to be addressed. You have to play the part in one moment that you will work with in 15 minutes as a counterpart. For example, Ohrt speaks a sentence as Maximilian against a green wall, changes clothes and answers as Lukas - also against a green wall.
When the twins hug each other in the movie, a double is still needed, right?
Exactly. However, with the film with Christoph M. Ohrt we managed to get them both touching!
At the end of the film there is a scene in which one person stops the other. The brothers are both played by Christoph M. Ohrt, but the arm that reaches over comes from the double. Those are the little tricks.
Interview with actor Christoph M. Ohrt:
Ohrt: "It was fun"
In the Sat.1 film Twin Kisses taste better, Christoph M. Ohrt (48) plays a double role: the twins Lukas and Maximilian, one is a garbage collector, the other a millionaire. When shooting the relevant scenes, the actor Andreas Pauls was available as a double. That means: Pauls always switched to the role of the other half of the twin, but can never be seen in the finished film. So Ohrt had a human contact person and did not have to speak empty-handed. "Whenever I didn't know what to do next, he would bail me out," says Ohrt about his counterpart and explains in an interview how he fared while shooting the twins.
Mr. Ohrt, was it exhausting to play two roles?
Christoph M. Ohrt: And whether! If one part was shot, it says: “Christoph, change your clothes, comb your hair and play the other twin!” You don't have endless time during production to prepare everything perfectly. Sometimes we only noticed when we were shooting that a scene as it is in the script wasn't working. Then we had to change them at short notice. Then there were the guys with the green mat for the special effects, who ran through the picture behind me. So on the one hand it was extremely exhausting, but on the other hand it was also a lot of fun.
Have you watched any other twin films in preparation?
Not, but I can still remember the first time I saw David Cronenberg's film Dead Ringers. At that time I was sitting in the cinema, amazed and pondered for ages how they did it. Now I know how to do it, and I also know what poor Jeremy Irons went through for it (laughs).
Almost ten years later, TV star Orth announced the separation from his long-term partner Dana Golombek.
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