Jennifer and John go out on location to experiment with making a sunny day look rainy, a studio look like a fire-lit setting, and creating some "camera shake" moves that are more realistic than 1960's era Sci-Fi TV shows.
Use Deceptive Shooting to make Fire, Rain and Earthquakes
Hi, I’m Jennifer O’Rourke. And, John Burkhart and I are taking tips and techniques out of the studio and on location to show you a couple cool ways that you could do in camera effects, using just your camera and a couple props that we’ve brought along. Our first one we’re going to do is show you how to make rain without it being a rainy day. So let’s take a look!
Now there’s a couple different ways you could make rain. This is the way we did this; we just got a simple bucket and a ladder and we drilled holes in the bucket at various sizes and distances. As you can see, a couple holes are a little bit too large in this demonstration. Another thing you need to watch for when setting this up is the distance of your camera to the subject and the subject to the rain.
The idea is we’ve got the depth of field here and I’m not as close to the bucket as I appear to be. But we’ve got the camera far enough back that it looks like the water should be rolling right in front of me. And we’ve put holes of random size and random areas of the bucket; if you use just a sprinkler, a sprinkler is too uniform so it doesn’t look like real rain. But using the bucket the way that we did with the holes being a little bit larger and smaller is what adds to the effect. Of course to pull this off right, you need to have your subjects wet or in this case the umbrella in the background.
Run John run! See John run! He’s running down to the really cold creek to get some very cold water.
Now this is a very subtle effect that we’re going to show you. You know in the old Star Trek series where when the enterprise was hit by a bomb, everyone would jump left and they would all jump right and it was all choreographed; nothing in the background ever moved, but the people all jumped around. It looked fake and we knew it was fake. There’s some real subtle ways you could make camera shake work for you in earthquakes or in situation like I’m going to show you with a car door. And we’re just going to close the car door and John is going to tap the camera just a little bit and just kind of simulates that the car movement has caused the camera shake. We’ll do it two times. We’ll do it without him moving it and with him moving the camera.
And that was obviously very subtle and that’s the idea. Let’s take a look at it again. You don’t want to be obvious when you do these effects; you just want to subtly play out the idea that there’s movement going on in the shot.
And this next effect has us back in the studio so we do have a controlled environment. And we’re going to give you the effect of a soft cozy fire-light scene. And the easiest way to do this is to create your own fire. Now John’s going to turn off the light that I have here on our studio light and Joseph’s going to turn on the fan and we’ll show you what the effect looks like of that nice cozy fire-light scene. And then John’s going to tilt the camera down to show you exactly how we did it. We just got a fan and we put plastic strips in front of the fan and we put an orange gel onto a light and we have the light flashing through the plastics strips. Pretty easy!
And that’s it for today’s tips and techniques. A couple little sizzling and cool in camera effects that you could do quite easily. Another one we want to tell you about is the one we call the vanishing effect. You see that in I Dream of Jeannie, she pops in, she pops out. The best way to do that though, is sometimes you get a little bit of the camera shake, so you want to actually just dissolve between the two shots; the shot of the person in the shot and the shot of the person no longer in the scene instead of a straight cut and that makes it a lot smoother and cleaner.
So, for tips and techniques, I’m Jennifer O’Rourke.