SFX Fall 2018 – Project Overview

A Good Effect Starts with a Good Story

Our projects will also need to end with a good story. Though most of our effort in our Practical Special Effects course will be given to designing and fabricating an amazing practical effect, the real goal of the course is to create a demo reel to demonstrate that effect on screen as well as tell the story of how your team got there.

Just like film, we are not making effects for just the fun of it (though it will be very fun), we are making effects for others to see (e.g. future employers).

Effect Constraint and Requirements — Must be support a coherent narrative sequence

  • Effect must be based on existing 2D narrative imagery and a minimum of 4 storyboards. Storyboards may be from an unproduced film, graphic novel, comic book or similar. Storyboards may also be screen captures from 2D animated sequence. 3D animation may not be used (such as Pixar films). Imagery from games may be used with instructor approval.
  • Effect must not be a copy or reproduction of any existing effect.
  • Effect must move or transform (this is not a prop)
  • Though all effects will be filmed, effects must be designed for specific use case including:
    • film and TV
    • museum display
    • themed attraction
    • theater
  • On camera effect size may not exceed 36” x 36” x 36. However, supportive set pieces, props, and backdrops may be used in final shot.
  • Demo reel may include CGI or VFX only in collaboration with Deepak Chetty’s’ RTF 344N Advanced Visual Effects and Motion Graphic course. However, VFX are not required.
  • Effect may not be explosive, flammable or hazardous in any way.

Demo Reel Description Timeline – not to exceed 5 minutes

2 to 5 seconds — Title, description and teaser image

5 to 15 seconds — Storyboard reel with sound

5 to 15 seconds — Storyboard reel with inserted effect (must be same length as storyboards without reel)

5 to 15 seconds — Storyboard reel with inserted effect and VFX (if VFX are used).

2 to 4 minutes — Description of process with titles and voiceover. If on camera interviews are used, subtitles must be used. If voice over is used, the demo reel must remain coherent and cogent in absence of sound.

2 to 10 seconds — End credits, special thanks, and copyright attribution (if necessary)

Examples of suitable storyboards

page from delicious dungeon manga

Treasure insects! From Delicious Dungeon by Ryoko Kui.

storyboard from comic showing android face

Great project for those who want to learn animatronics and life casting. From Terminal Protocol. Jordan Alsaqa, Writer. Rem Broo, Artist.

page from sherlock frakenstein

Eugene Tremblay (aka MECTOPLASM)! This would be a very ambitious project. How might a green screen be used to put live actors in this shot? From Sherlock Frankenstein. Script: Jeff Lemire. Art, colors, and lettering: David Rubin

medical illustration of horse and tb bacteria

How might this reference material be use to create a museum exhibit? From Strange Wit — Written by Katy Rex. Pencils & Inks by Tyler Jenkins.

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