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Fantastic Fantasy: Movie Effects

Aiden Webster, Reporter

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Have you ever wondered what goes into making movies magical? Well I’m here to tell you in the form of a list story. First I will be going over why movie effects are important. Without effects movies would be very boring. They add a certain feel of realness and childlike wonder and should really make you think it is real.

 

  1. Chroma Key. Chroma key is a very important part of movie making. Mainly used to make the background of certain scenes, it is also commonly used with Motion Tracking which I will go over later. The way it works is when you put a certain color on a screen/sheet (usually green or blue) the computer realizes that that color should be replaced with a background.
  2. SFX (special effects) are used post-production, meaning after the scene is recorded with the green screen they are added in. SFX is the real bread and butter of movies. Often used to be the explosions, and shockwaves you are so used to seeing in movies. How exactly this is done is very complicated and uses sophisticated 3D art made by graphic artists.
  3. Deus Ex Machina is an old latin term meaning “God from the machine”. This term is used for when a character makes an escape that went completely against the odds, but that’s only the modern way of using it. The Greeks used this machine that would lift an actor, playing one of the gods, onto the stage and when and actor would ascend through a trapdoor, this was even used in the Warner Bros “The Wizard of Oz”.
  4. On the topic of lifting things, cranes. Cranes are used not only for actors, but for objects as well. In most ghost movies, objects are being lifted up into the air. This work is done by cranes. The reason you don’t see the cranes is because of the chroma key. You can either make the crane itself green, and just erase it post-production.
  5. Motion tracking is very important when it comes to making fantasy movies. Especially for characters. The actor playing Rocket from Guardians of The Galaxy wasn’t just wearing makeup. Motion tracking is done by someone wearing a strange green suit with what looks to be ping-pong balls on it. The truth is that those little white dots are so the camera/computer will notice that that is a joint. When the actor moves that joint the computer will make a 3D character move that same joint.

 

All of these movie techniques are costly and take a lot of time to learn how to do. Although making a movie look great you may just want to know how it’s done. Maybe you want to be a movie producer when you grow up, or maybe just an actor. I did leave a lot out but these are just the main ones. Have you ever wanted to make a movie?

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Fantastic Fantasy: Movie Effects