I recently stumbled onto this gem of a video by YouTuber Paul E.T. In the video essay, Paul attempts to learn how the filmmakers of “Criminal: UK” hid their camera from a mirror. I came to learn filmmaking tricks, I left with a new favorite YouTube channel.
I have seen hundreds if not thousands of video essays in my day, but none as good at Paul’s. There are plenty of videos that are informative, or well edited, or comical. However, no one has ever put them together while telling a compelling story as well as Paul.
“How Filmmakers Make Cameras Disappear” tells the story of one video essayist who desperately tries to figure out “Criminal: UK’s” filmmaking tricks. As Paul goes on this journey, he takes us with him. However, the video still uses elements of traditional video essays. Paul breaks down how three films creatively hide cameras from mirrors but he is no closer to learning how “Criminal: UK” does it than he is at the beginning.
The video then transitions to a montage sequence that highlights Paul’s endless pursuit for the answer. He looks through countless IMDb, Instagram and Twitter accounts before emailing the camera operator directly. Eventually he gets a response and the video finally demonstrates “Criminal: UK’s” secret filmmaking trick.
Paul’s video does a great job of building suspense in order to keep the audience engaged and interested in the payoff. He could have easily made the video “How Criminal: UK Made the Camera Disappear in THAT Shot” and given us as straightforward instructional video. But instead he crafts an entire narrative around the filmmaking trick. I became more invested in Paul’s journey of discovery than I was in learning how camera’s are actually hidden from mirrors.
Interested in a wonderfully edited, hilarious, and educational video essay? Check out Paul E.T.’s video above or click here.