How Harold Ramis Cloned Michael Keaton For Multiplicity


While speaking to the Los Angeles Daily News in 1996 about his then-recent film, Ramis detailed how he and his crew managed to turn one Keaton into four Doug Kinneys. Similar to “The Parent Trap,” they utilized stand-ins and shot the scene twice. However, to make things easier for their leading man who had to play off of himself, the director went one step further. He explained, “Michael would play each role against actor stand-ins, who would videotape him and then hold monitors of his performance when he played the next character.” But then when a scene would require more than one Doug to interact, that’s when they would bring in the green screen to create a seamless composite shot. Ramis continued:

“Whenever a character or a part of a character would pass around or in front of another, we’d shoot it against a green screen. The biggest shots like that were the ones in which Doug and Two bump chests, and when all three clones are shaving at the same time while being reflected in a bathroom mirror. For Michael to high-five himself, take a thermometer out of a clone’s mouth or what have you, it would be the stand-in’s arm, wearing the same shirt. Then we’d shoot it again with Michael replacing the stand-in and moving his torso as if he was moving his own arm.”



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