Visual Effects – The Freedom of Story Telling

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Ask any writer, director or film maker what is that one thing that’s most important to their craft and they will say – the freedom to tell the story, the way they visualize it. The freedom to tell the story, the way it should be.

Thanks to the fast evolution in animation technology, today’s advanced Visual Effects help such story tellers to bring their stories to life! VFx gives you the creative freedom and technical leverage to create anything virtually!

Visual Effects have been used in movies almost from the very genesis of the film industry, albeit with restrictions. Technology back then was primitive and permitted use of VFX for only special cases. But with the advent of digital and computer graphics as tools for Visual Effects, artists are now able to have full control over their images in ways that were unimaginable before!  From “smoke & mirrors” we have come a long way to CGI (computer graphics imagery)!

Digital Visual Effects have broadened the scope of narrative expressions. It helps you add that extra dimension, change the way a scene appears or make something look more realistic by adding depth. Visual Effects helps translate your imagination and creativity from paper to screen! Imagine Life of Pi without the tiger! Or Harry Potter without all the magic, or Avatar without its world and creatures! Visual Effects is what makes it all possible.

Facts tell, but Stories sell!

Much as Visual Effects enhance the experience of the movie, if the story telling is not gripping, then the movie fails! Visual Effects are hence now becoming a part of story development process and not part of post-production alone.

So when to use Visual Effects? When you need it to support your story, or take the story ahead or want to enhance the scene by creating the right dramatic impact! Some scenarios when VFX is often used:

  • Modify Location : If as a director you need just a few shots of a landmark to establish the location of a story, a few matte paintings or building replacements using VFX can save you the time & cost of shooting! Similarly to alter the background view from a window or to include a remote location like a forest into your story telling, VFX tools can help you easily! You can even add rain or snow to a scene using Visual Effects.
  • Alternative for Set : Rather than building a complete set VFX can be used to recreate the set effect virtually. Anything the actor touches or walks on will have to be built real, rest can be created cost effectively using VFx.
  • Add characters or props: You can insert characters or creatures or even objects and props  into a scene using VFX.
  • Action sequences: Dangerous action sequences like fire can be shot easily with Visual Effects. You can film the fire separately as an element and VFX team can composite it into the shot later.
  • Outdoor shots: Sequences which need to be shot in an aeroplane or a busy highway or a speeding train might require lot of permissions and approvals and can also be expensive. Solution? Visual effects!

So next time you write that amazing story or get that brilliant idea and picturize it on a big screen, remember that the magic of Visual Effects makes anything possible!

Written by Sagar on January 12th, 2015

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