February 8, 2010

Special Effects

Opening Items

  • Apple Exemplary Program presentation to the Board: You're Invited! February 25, 7:00 p.m.
  • iVIE Update
  • EYMF Reminder: Entry deadlines: March 1- April 16
    • Projects can be either Individual or Class projects (but student work, only; Photography Induvidual only)
    • Encourage participation at your school
    • Rubrics are posted on the Media Categories page 
  • Katie Ragazzi looking for classes to bring potential donors to to see PL in action
  • Leaving Comments: The Reviewing Teams show the Reviewer (in pink or blue) and they four people they review. That way everyone gets covered.
  • iVIE Project Deadlines
  • At the end of the meeting, we will raffle away a Frames Clay Animation Kit.

Film Featurette:

I wanted to look at something with invisible special effects, something that you could go and watch and never realize there were any special effects. For instance, Invictus appears to have no real special effects, where in fact there are over 600 special effects shots, including what's been called the largest rotoscoping project in film history. If you look carefully, you'll see that both pictures represent the same frame of film, one before one after. Notice also there is one pocket of "real" audience for some closeup reaction shots. But the rest isn't really there (and some things that really were there are gone).

Special Effects Recipes

Note: Return ready to share by 5:10 p.m.

While here we're following a few recipes to get an effect, the real value is in finding creative solutions to specific problems. Therefore, any creative impulses that may dawn on you during the process are very valuable; go with them. Feel free to change the parameters off the scenes below if you have a better idea. The important part is thinking through the special effect and making it work well. Use creative problem solving to reach a desired end. Build any one of the 3 (or 4)  scenes below; more if you can. Build it all in one iMovie '09 project (whatever you have time for) and export and upload that project to share with all.

Passage of Time Dissolves
  1. This is all done as one long shot and then sliced and diced in iMovie '09
  2. Don't pan, zoom, or otherwise move the camera
  3. Film 5 seconds of empty room space
  4. Without stopping camera, have talent enter and pace in one part of the room for 5 seconds or so and stop for a second or two
  5. Talent moves to another location and sits in chair; film in chair (don't disrupt the chair) for 5 seconds
  6. Talent moves to another area, paces for a second or two, and leaves camera view
  7. In iMovie, cut out all of the movements from one location to another and join with long cross dissolves
  8. Make the Cross Dissolves 2-3 seconds long. Use the Precision Editor for the transition if you need to change duration or placement.
  9. Add mournful music to set the mood
Kung Fu Catch the Blow
  1. Start with the good guy holding the fist of the bad guy an inch from his nose
  2. On action, bad guy violently takes fist back into the ready-to-throw-a-punch mode; good guy drops hand to side
  3. Film a little cover for before and after the punch to build a little scene
  4. In iMovie '09, reverse the clip (and maybe speed it up)
  5. Edit into the project the before-and-after-the-punch action
  6. Add sound effects and music to sell it
Pen is Mightier than the Sword
  1. Develop a quick scenario to get into the scene
  2. Show the pen(cil) being thrown (but don't let go; be safe)
  3. For the flying pen, tape or rubber band a pen(cil) to the bottom of the lens so the point is seen by the lens and chase (carefully) the subject
  4. Have the pencil implant into the subjects head (profile view; hold with away-from-camera hand) and then collapse
  5. Have bad guy sink out of camera view
  6. Season with sound effects (a good thunk) and music
Extra Credit
  1. If you have the time and can think of a neat effect that can be filmed under the present circumstances, give it a try
  2. Don't just copy one of the effects above; we're looking for NEW