Re: Random Movie Talk That Probably Doesn't Deserve Its Own Thread
But I don't understand
a) how he managed to get the matte to follow his head while he moved smoothly around (it seems unlikely he could hold a position while they advanced to the next frame and changed the matte, and then resume a frame's worth of motion for the next frame), and
b) how he managed those moments where his hand passes in front of his missing head (where the matte would presumably be)
The heads that he physically handles are dummies. The part at :18 where he waves his arm in front of the head on the table, the arm is clearly painted in.
He had to stop the film to get the dummy heads put into his hands, so I'm guessing a black bag got put over his head at the same time, but there's also some optical dodging going on too. I suspect that the bag was too obvious most of the time, and he dodged that spot (waving a little piece of card on a wire in front of the projector to keep light from getting to that area of the print) when copying to the final master.
Zarban's House of Commentaries