Make Day into Night, Shrimps into Giants, and Actors Fall to their Death

Ryan cracks open the emails again to answer questions on Day For Night, Giants, and falling from a high ledge with out that annoying death thing.

This week…we again answer two emails which include practical (in camera effects), and some that require post-production. For the first Effect we tackle “Day for Night” and “Day for Almost Night”. Day for night is technically simple, but difficult to execute realistically if you cannot do sky replacement.

When you shoot your scene you have to be sure of two things; 1). Do not show the sky, and 2). Don’t shoot in harsh sunlight. Wait for overcast, or later / earlier in the day. Day for Almost Night is basically the same thing, just show the sky this time.

Next up; we create a giant by using perspective, which is the same method that has been used in big blockbuster films like Elf and Lord of the Rings. This method is insanely simple and can be used in a lot of different ways for a lot of great effects, (i.e. Making a model airplane look like a full sized aircraft.)

Perspective is also the tool behind creating the effect of our actor standing on a high ledge. By shooting at a low angle, you give the impression that the subject is high up. This sort of perspective can also be used to convey a feeling; (i.e) if you want your bad guy to appear more menacing and powerful, you might shoot him from a lower angle so that it feels like he is bigger and towering over us.

For the falling effect you will need a green screen and some software. Your screen doesn’t have to be green by the way… You can go with blue if you’d rather… But I prefer green. When you shoot your actor up against the green, be sure to have him as far away from it as you can to reduce spill (a green tint hitting the actor from light bouncing off your green screen). Then get your screen to where it is evenly lit all the way across, reducing shadows and wrinkles as much as possible. The lighting on your actor and screen will determine how you’re green screen will work once you get it into post.

For more detailed (and slightly boring) tutorials on the falling and ledge effects; go to our Film Riot Facebook. While you’re there, become a fan; Ryan is always updating it with great filmmaking info.

Once you’re done, check out our Film Riot twitter for updates on the latest movie news and filmmaking tips.

And if you have an idea for an effect that you’d like to see made into an episode, shoot us an email: