Visual Effects on a Budget

Category :News
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Image Source: Pixabay

A good film is one which is not just heavy on content but is also aesthetically pleasing. Editing can get you a neat and polished film but visual effects will drastically lift it from mediocre to magnificent. As a filmmaker working on a tight budget, it can be challenging to produce visual effects of a certain high standard. But it isn’t impossible.

Consider filmmakers in the 60s and 70s. They too didn’t have sophisticated and expensive equipment to produce high-quality visual effects. When you watch films like ‘Godzilla’ you can’t help but admire their genius. You can use the same smarts for your film to bring in a sizable audience. So how can you achieve such effects without going broke?

  • Forced perspective – It is a sort of optical illusion where the subject is shot in a way to make it appear closer and larger or smaller than the original. Even Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and James Cameron used miniature models in their films ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, ‘The Hobbit’ series, and ‘Titanic’ to make their subjects appear larger than life. The only money you will be spending is on creating a model of what has to be used and apply a few photographic tricks to get the desired result.
  • Green screen – Probably the most commonly used visual effect, the green screen has been used time and again in films and will never, ever fade away. From YouTube videos to Oscar winners, the green screen is everywhere because it can do anything.
  • Matte painting – Not restricted to plays and stage shows, this technique of using painted backgrounds has been used in films like ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘Star Wars’, and many others. While getting the background painted can cost you a little, it is still economical compared to filming on location.
  • Masks and costumes – Well! Isn’t that simple. A small trip to the costume store and you’ll have enough costumes to create a full fleet of animals and creatures. All this without the need for special effects. Rent and return, and you’re left with a masterpiece on a budget.

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Image source: Flickr

The methods described here require some amount of detailing and refinement to make it look like a feature presentation rather than a low-budget video. You have to invest some amount of time, money, and resources for any kind of visual effects. In case you are hindered by a really tight budget, these techniques can be coupled with good editing to give you a clean and complete product.

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4 methods of introducing visual effects in your film on a shoestring budget.

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