The special effects used in big Hollywood blockbusters look fantastic on the big screen and really enhance our movie-viewing pleasure. But some of the effects used are actually fairly easy to recreate in real life if you know what you’re doing! With a good computer, the right software, and some training you can achieve most of the effects we see in Hollywood to some extent:
• Make up – Look out for make up courses in your local area. Most big cities throughout the world, whether you’re in London, Milan or Johannesburg, will have several colleges or institutions that offer courses in make up techniques. A good make up course will teach you how to apply make up to correct and compensate for any undesirable facial features and emphasize the good bits through contouring and highlighting. The lighting of a film recording or photo shoot also needs to be taken into account, especially now that many things are shot in high definition and can pick up tiny details on faces and bodies!
• Blue/green screening – With the right equipment anyone can create a movie effect using a blue or green screen. Simply set up the screen, ensure that the subjects placed in front of it are not wearing anything that is the same colour as the screen, then film away. With the green screen technique all the magic happens in post production. An editing software package will allow you to add in any scene you like behind the actors. You can make it look as if they’re flying, cycling through Amsterdam, or sailing on a Gondola in Venice. The green screen possibilities are endless!
• Fake blood – Fake blood has come on a lot since the good old days of black and white movies where chocolate syrup was used as blood. These days the blood needs to look and act real. Production teams make blood appear to gush from wounds using tubing hidden behind skin-like latex. Film-makers are always coming up with new, inventive ways to hide the tubes of fake blood in order to make their productions more realistic. With a little imagination and ingenuity anyone can come up with a good method for making fake blood appear to be real.
• Post production – There’s a variety of editing software available, both free and paid for, that enables anyone to edit videos and recordings in a variety of ways. Most of what is seen in big Hollywood productions is added in afterwards by the post production team. Computer generated imagery (CGI) is added in after recording to enhance the production. If you’ve got a creative mind, some technical know how, and the right software then you can easily create the scenes and backdrops you want. Post production techniques also allow you to airbrush your actors and anything real in the scene in order to correct mistakes and fix the continuity of your production.