Sep 16 2009
If you’re filming a movie like The Day After Tomorrow or Hellboy II, your special effects are going to be pretty pricey. In a low-budget film, you probably won’t be freezing half the world or portray ancient princes equipped with endless people-eating monsters. Your special effects needs, therefore, can come at very little cost to you.
Here are some very simple and very cheap ways to complete the special effects you’re after.Fake Blood: Mix clear corn syrup, red food coloring, and a little bit of milk (so it’s not transparent)–and voila! Your own fake blood, at your fingertips, without having spent any. Add some purple food coloring if you wish for a darker effect.
Head-On Collision: Rather than making your actors run straight into a vehicle or other object, use this trick: Using a steady hand, film the actor slowly moving toward the object with a wide shot. Move your camera very slowly behind the object, and as the actor slowly continues to move forward, move the camera to the side of the object. Have your actor (still moving slowly) bump his head against the tree and pull back very quickly, as if he or she had hit it very hard. When you’re finished, simply edit the whole scene by speeding it up.
Exploding Objects: Rather than blowing up expensive equipment (or being put on a wanted list for making bombs), try this technique. Using a normal shot, tilt your camera at an angle. Have your actors (or just people hanging around your set) throw a bunch of trash into the frame to make it look like something has blown up. Use a smoke machine to add credibility to the falling debris. When you’re finished, add sound effects.