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Guerrilla Diary: behind the scenes

Film maker Justin Hunt from Ember films explains how they shot the Flare scene for our HitFilm tutorial. How you shoot for VFX is important.

We consume images all the time and often don’t question them.

That’s ideally what we want to do with visual effects too. Notice Justin’s attention to detail in this video. He built a set for the background, which barely registers when you see the shot, but because it’s on set it reflects the light and we accept it as real, almost subliminally.

In fact a trick we noticed is Justin put little strips of tin foil around the edge of the barrel and the pipe to just hint at water reflecting off these edges. Now that’s what we call attention to detail.

Notice also Justin talks about testing out the footage in HitFilm to make sure it all fits together whilst he is still on set- as it’s problematic (and expensive) to find out things don’t fit later.

Now, we’ve shot these elements so you don’t have to. We definitely don’t want anyone to feel they have to shoot their own elements to make this shot, but maybe you’d like to think of a different scenario where you would use real lights and real objects in a creative way like Justin did? I’ll start you off- imagine I had an actor in a deckchair dressed in a t-shirt and hawaii shorts. I might pour a bit of sand on the floor and place some ‘tropical’ greenery around him. I might use a fan to blow a gentle wind through his hair, and have someone wave a filter in front of the light to replicate palm tree leaves shadows; then I might cut to some tropical beach stock footage. Now a shot like that might save a pile of money in airfares.

Can you think of other examples? What creative ways might you use lights and props to imply your actor is elsewhere? Let’s hear them in the Comments!

Over the next two steps, we’ll show you how to recreate this shot using HitFilm software…

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Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers

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