Writing (and Directing) Visual Effects Shots

A Practical Guide For Budget FilmMaking

Besides being a visual effects artist and motion designer at Evil Planet Studios and a graphic designer for ReDCroW Design, I’ve had my healthy share of writing and directing. Ever since I remember I always liked story-telling and that was one of the driving factors that led to my incursion into writing and directing my own shorts. But every once in awhile I get carried away and end up coming up with some impossible-to-produce piece of work that slowly dies on the drawing board and leaves me wondering: “What the hell just happened?”.

See, the problem about writing a visual effects shot is that it looks awesome in your head, it looks great on paper, too and it would certainly look awesome on screen but to make it happen you would need a budget equivalent to the GDP of a small country. But why? The answer may baffle some: It all boils down to time. And time=money. Whether it’s your time, an un-paid intern’s time or the time of the artist you hired to do the visual effects.

I had to learn this the hard way, some of my scripts ended up as botched productions or simply un-filmable projects. Now I am sharing my experience with you, so you can take into account the many variables and requirements that go into writing visual-effects-loaded scenes.

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