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View Full Version : wondering about the practical limits of special effects in movies



Phillip Allen
03-05-2009, 09:56 PM
In Private Ryan, as an example, when they over run a German MG42 (machinegun) position...there is a scene following it where the gun sits cooking and smoking in the background...what I wonder at is that those MG 42's are around but very, very expensive...what did they do to get it to smoke like that? (Iím sure they didnít cook an expensive prop)

Not meant to be a gun thread...just a special effect thread. I'm interested in the peripheral things in the various scenes

Paul Pless
03-06-2009, 07:09 AM
I'm interested in the peripheral things in the various scenesthe practical limits... nothing in this scene is real except the two actors... the road, the cars, the bridge, the buildings are all computer generated... there a few limits...

http://www.denofgeek.com/misc/178032/top_sfx_shots_no17_the_road_to_perdition.html

pretty good gun scenes in this movie, btw;)

Phillip Allen
03-06-2009, 07:13 AM
I watched the clip Paul. it works but one wouldn't want to dwell on those buildings much

Captain Intrepid
03-06-2009, 06:05 PM
They could have added it in post op via cgi, or had the prop rigged to smoke, that wouldn't be too hard.

Phillip Allen
03-06-2009, 06:07 PM
They could have added it in post op via cgi, or had the prop rigged to smoke, that wouldn't be too hard.

I thought it was a nice touch...those hollywood types often expect stupidity from the viewers...

Captain Intrepid
03-06-2009, 06:25 PM
I thought it was a nice touch...those hollywood types often expect stupidity from the viewers...

Well, that depends what kind of movie you're watching, but yeah, most do. There's a lot of talented craftsmen and artists in hollywood, but the execs in charge aren't generally included in that. Too many damn demographic studies and not enough heart.

John of Phoenix
03-06-2009, 06:38 PM
I'll never forget that opening scene on the beach in SPR. It was like being back in combat hearing those bullets. My mouth was dry, palms sweaty, tense all over - I'd forgotten the feelings. Or thought I had.

Phillip Allen
03-06-2009, 06:52 PM
I'll never forget that opening scene on the beach in SPR. It was like being back in combat hearing those bullets. My mouth was dry, palms sweaty, tense all over - I'd forgotten the feelings. Or thought I had.


I was never in actual combat John but have heard that others who have been had trouble with those scenes...makes sence to me

I once had an old vet of Italy/MonteCasino tell me that his artillary (foward spotter/trigger man) tell me that he systematically leveled a small Italian town to get two 88's that were hidden there...along with Allied POW's and a hospital....he got his 88's then sat quietly for a miniute then cried

I learned a lot at his feet about the misery of war...by watching him and reading between the lines

I wanted to understand and it was as close as I could get

S/V Laura Ellen
03-06-2009, 07:05 PM
Two cases of extreme special effects come to mind:

Apollo 13: The astronauts involved with the real Apollo 13 mission couldn't tell the difference between the SGI and real clips. (but then again since all moon missions were faked, it was all SGI, so this may not be a great example).

Shrek: The animation software was so realistic that the tech guys had to detune the animation quality to retain the toon look.

Bob Adams
03-06-2009, 07:17 PM
Apollo 13: The astronauts involved with the real Apollo 13 mission couldn't tell the difference between the SGI and real clips. (but then again since all moon missions were faked, it was all SGI, so this may not be a great example).


Oh boy, this could get better than a gun thread!

Paul Pless
03-06-2009, 07:38 PM
not without tyler here...

S/V Laura Ellen
03-06-2009, 07:56 PM
Oh boy, this could get better than a gun thread!

I suppose the use of an emoticon :D would have been appropriate.