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Special FX (walking on water)


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#1 sean Huff

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 04:00 PM

Hi Everyone,
I am part of a small film crew in Lawrenceville Ga, Whitestone Motion Pictures. An Up coming Production calls for our mail character to walk on water! I know, I know... my director is crazy! He wants me to build some kind of rig to allow this to happen. I suggested just to pray real hear, but he did not go for that idea. Does any one know of a way to do this? He does not want green screen, he wants the real deal. PLEASE HELP!!!

Thanks so much,
Sean HUff

PS visit our sight.

http://Whitestonemotionpictures.com
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 05:37 PM

The simplest way would be to built a walkway just under the surface of the water. How difficult this is would depend on how deep the water is, how strong the currents are, how soft the bottom is and how clear the water is.
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 05:38 PM

Try putting some sort of platform just under the surface of the water maybe?
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#4 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 05:43 PM

Build a solid platform of plexiglass to a height that rises an inch or so beneath the surface of the water. Be sure it is of the width and length of the area you need the actor to walk.

That's how Ric Ocasek did it: The Cars- "Magic" Music Video
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:58 PM

I've seen it done with blocks of concrete that were barely below the water. Given that these six inch square blocks did just visibly affect the ripple of the water - if you knew where they were - I'd suggest you'd want to keep the area as small as possible and place one for every footfall. Putting in a whole platform might - and I'm speculating here - be a bit obvious unless it was so far beneath the surface your actor will be in up to the knees.

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#6 Tim Partridge

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:28 PM

Build a solid platform of plexiglass to a height that rises an inch or so beneath the surface of the water. Be sure it is of the width and length of the area you need the actor to walk.

That's how Ric Ocasek did it: The Cars- "Magic" Music Video


Terence Stamp got there before him on SUPERMAN II.
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:59 PM

Terence Stamp got there before him on SUPERMAN II.

And Peter Sellers at the end of Being There, but it's an old trick. Plexiglass (aka perspex) is good for something like a swimming pool where it is easy to see through the water and therefore you need the platform to be invisible. The bad thing about plexi is that it can be incredibly slippery when wet. Just watch the way Ocasek moved in that video -- I bet he tumbled into the water a dozen times that day. If you can make the angles work to have a surface with better traction then I highly recommend it. A board with strips of rubber or gaffer's tape might do it.
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#8 Joe Turrentine

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 01:20 AM

If it works with the story, i.e. main character who is walking, I would also try and get a cutaway of the feet walking on the water, just to show that he "really" is walking on the water. I think this could be done with a green screen shot.

Once you show off a bit to the audience you can do waist-up medium shots and they won't mind.

Good Luck!
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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 03:26 AM

I actually saw a VERY interesting shot of walking on water, it was I think for a commercial, may have evne seen it here. The used a big, thick Lexan acrylic tray with water ripples molded into it, (I suppose you could make the walls a about 2 or 3 inches as fill it wit real water) and it was set on 2 metal saw horses, The camera was placed under the tray and the actors walked across it. It looked like you were i a lake looking up at someone walking on water. Very cool. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 10 November 2007 - 03:27 AM.

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#10 Matt Pacini

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 06:28 PM

You would also be better served by shooting at an angle with the camera right at the water line.
That way you couldn't see "into" the water & notice the blocks, or whatever rig you use.
Get different angles, because you're likely to see the rig only at certain times, so you'll want cutaways for when that happens.

MP
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Glidecam

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