Watch this woman's face shapeshift with a simple trick of the light

In film, photo and video, lighting is everything. The arresting visual effect showcased here illustrates why.

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This hypnotic clip was directed by filmmaker Nacho Guzman, and is a teaser for an upcoming music video by French electronica group OPALE. In the video, a woman's face can be seen appearing to morph dramatically as the camera lighting turns in circles before her face. The constantly shifting angle of illumination, in combination with actress Stella Stocker's own subtle movements (not to mention the annular path of the LED bulbs, visible in her eyes), gives rise to a phantasmagoric effect that is remarkably effective, in spite of its technical simplicity.

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In the video's comment section, Guzman confirms that the project is an homage to French film director Henri-Georges Clouzot, who used the technique to great (and psychedelic) effect in his unfinished 1964 film L'Enfer:

According to Guzman, the remainder of the final version of the video will incorporate a unique twist, unlike anything in Clouzot's original implementation of the technique. We look forward to seeing what he has in store.

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[Vimeo]

H/T Keith!

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DISCUSSION

I have face blindness, so this illusion was especially powerful for me. She looked as though she was constantly shifting into completely different women. This echoes my experiences watching TV and movies - I often don't recognize a character until they move around, as the single-angle view of them might present them in a different light than I'm used to, so I can't tell who they are.