This practical effect will cost you zero dollars and is perfect for b-roll.
Whether you're creating a transition between two scenes or adding some emotional depth to your subject's performance, b-roll can often be a place where you can let your creative freak flag fly, and experimenting with practical effects is one way to do just that. In this video, filmmaker Zach Ramelan shows you one technique that you can pull off with any ol' reflective surface you have lying around in your gear bag. Check it out below:
So, if you've got some sunglasses, an ND filter, or even your smartphone just sitting around not being put to good use, bust them out and get to work. All you have to do is zoom in slightly with your lens (or just make sure foreground elements are satisfactorily out of focus), and play around with the placement of your reflective surface until you get the desired result. By manipulating the surface, you can produce interesting reflections, flares, or bokeh balls that create simple, stylish, and unique in-camera effects that require less time and money than purchasing and editing stock assets in post.
If you want to learn about some other ways to create cheap and easy practical in-camera effects, check out some of our other articles that show you how to pull them off, including shooting through prisms, diopters, and even water droplets.