Beware – I am about to divulge my thoughts. I have been thinking about this project for a minute, it is incomplete, and I am looking for your thoughts on it.
It is coming up on October, which means that Halloween is not that far away, and I love ghost movies. To be more specific, I like the VFX that go into making them look real. This can be done in lots of ways of course – the practical effects in Signs (2002) were great, but so were the VFX/CGI work in Poltergiest (1982). Check them both out.
They both are cool – but while the Poltergeist scene would not raise eyebrows today at all – that was in 1982! That movie had me asking my mother if I could sleep on the floor next to her bed. There was another scene in the movie where one of the characters ripped off his face. A more practical effect, but mirrors also sent me running for a long time. I went and found it – its to the right.
As I have said in the past, I love practical effects. The leg in Signs would not be that hard to do and make it look pretty good. (We have to keep in mind that what really made it work was the rising tension of Mel Gibson walking in between the corn rows – we all knew something was going to happen, but what and when were the question) Its Hitchcokian in actuallity; the bomb analogy that he does a great job using in all of his movies.
This was the eeriest, scariest scene from the movie Signs. M. Night Shyamalan creates a ton of rising tension with the little girl who is weird as all get out, and all of the darkness in all of the shots preceding the moment on the rooftop(s).
I love the idea of the corn field shots form Signs. Perhaps it is because I have them surrounding my house. Maybe it is because I think there is an inherent creepiness that comes with seeing these uniform rows that appear to go on ad infinitum. Most importantly, I think they have great potential when it comes to using them as locations for creepy movies.
Go on YouTube and find a ghost with green screen background that you like. (There are not many tbh and I was honestly looking at pay sites such as Videocopilot to see if there were any good ones there) You could take static or dynamic shot of the cornfield and layer in the ghost. Add some color grading and opacity work and you would have a serviceable ghost.
Shoot a nice long scene from a tripod for your base shot. Then without touching or moving the tripod, film another scene with someone moving or walking around in the cornfield. Layer them on top of one another in FCPX and alter opacity and the person should look transluscent. There are problems with this: Cornfields move in the wind and the 2 shots might be different enough that you can tell the difference.
Take lots of shots of the field and add a practical effect – I do not know – make something that looks like a leg? I can see how this will look bad if it is a table leg with toenails painted on it. I guess thats why those guys that do all of the practical effects get paid all the money.
Lots of thoughts. What do you guys think? What would be the best way to create a decent visual effect that would creep someone out? Please respond with ideas in the contact box.