How to Make Special Effects Explosions

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Special effects explosions used to be created using gasoline and a match, but a digital explosion is a safer, high-tech way to add a big bang to a film. Superimpose an explosion over film footage with help from a movie producer in this free video on filmmaking.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking & Movie Special Effects
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Shaun O'Rourke with Eleven Bravo Productions, and I'm here at EUE/Screen Gems Studios, in Suite D. Now, this is the largest studio complex in the East coast, which is really, really awesome. They've done a lot of big movies here, and they've done a lot of big movies with explosions. So, I'm going to talk a little bit about how to make a movie explosion right now, okay? In the history of film there's been many, many movies with some of the biggest and largest explosions of all time. I can name quite a few, and I'm sure you can too, but what we're going to talk about here first is safety. When you're doing these explosions, the first thing you have to do is be very safe. You're going to have crew. You're going to have actors. You're going to have Fire Chiefs. All this stuff has to be in place before you can even set up an explosion, okay, and one of the things you have to keep in mind is that these guys who do this for a living are licensed professionals. So, I don't encourage you to go out after you see this video and go blow something up. It's dangerous. You can hurt yourself. It's just not a good way to practice, okay? So, sometimes they've used accelerants like gasoline, kerosene, Semtex, all sorts of different types of things, but they're getting away from that, okay? Some of the bigger explosions in movies back in the day were just big drums of gasoline that are ignited from, you know, a hundred feet away with cable and a switch, okay? Now, those days are kind of come and gone. Everybody’s preferring to do things digitally now, which is what we're going to talk about; how to create a special effect explosion, but we're going to talk about how to do it digitally, okay? Now, there's a lot of great programs out there on the Internet. All you have to do is do a search, and you can find some of the best places are putting out low-end stuff right now for people to download and drop in alpha channels, okay. What you're going to do is you're going to get a plate shot of whatever you're going to blow up, okay? And then with special effect digital technology you're going to superimpose your explosion, and there you go. You're going to blow it up. It's going to be really cool. We're going to cut away from here. I'm going to show you how it's done on a computer, okay, because for you guys out there that are novices we don't want you working with accelerants. We don't want you trying to blow things up on your own. It's just too dangerous, so here's how to do it digitally. Now, I'm Shaun O'Rourke, with Eleven Bravo Productions. I'm here at EUE/Screen Gems Studios, the largest studio complex on the east coast, and I just showed you how to make an explosion for a movie digitally.


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