February 23, 2018

Turn an Entire Room into a Camera Obscura with Nothing but a Toilet Paper Roll

Good for party tricks, science experiments, and super nerdy but completely awesome wedding proposals.

Filmmaking nerds love expressing their nerdery in the most grandiose of ways, and what is more grandiose (and nerdy and filmy) than turning an entire room into a walk-in camera obscura? The answer is "nothing." But how do you perform such a feat? Well, it's actually really, really easy, requiring something you most likely already (hopefully) have at home.

In this quick 1-minute tutorial, the Koldunov Brothers show you how to do just that with nothing more than a toilet paper roll (okay, and some clippies). Check it out below:

Though this isn't a new idea, it's a friggin' awesome one. All you have to do is pull the curtains, stick a toilet paper roll in them, and seal it up nice and tight. Boom! You've turned your room into a camera obscura. Another way to do this, as covered by PetaPixel, is by covering your windows with cardboard and then cutting a hole somewhere in the center. (That approach may result in a larger projection anyway.) You can shoot music videos, experimental scenes, dream sequences, etc. in this DIY camera obscura room, which would be dope.

This is such a cool project for non-filmmaking purposes, too. You can bust it out at parties, build one with your kids, or, for real, use it in an elaborate wedding proposal. I popped the question to my wife two years ago at the Bellagio like an idiot, surrounded by two dozen Irish tourists and 30 mph winds that were blowing my stupid hand-written proposal signs away. Dumb! I could've turned our living room into a giant camera obscura and put a "Marry me, toots!" sign outside the window! I'm a fool (who likes signs because she can't vocalize her most sentimental feelings apparently). At least I have a kid to show this off to—and she's a total mini-filmmaking nerd, so she'll really appreciate its awesomeness.

Anyway, it's a cool little trick that you should definitely try. And if any of you have proposed or will propose to your sweet darlin' using this method, please let me know in the comments so I can brood and be jealous and give you a high-five.      

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1 Comment

awesome tip. Thanks!

February 24, 2018 at 11:24AM