How To Make Effects for a Horror Web Show

Horror special effects will make your next web show chiller even more terrifying! The popularity of horror films on the web is growing. Part of the thrill of horror is based on the unexpected popping up when you least expect it (usually resulting in some character's peril,) so this is going to differ from typical videos because of the shocks. There are several different types of quick, easy, and inexpensive effects you can employ to add that extra twinge of terror. Most effects are going to fall into these categories: make-up, physical effects, visual effects and sound effects.

Step 1: Make-Up

Some of the most common effects you may use are make-up effects. These include the make up that turns a regular human into a monster-or its victim. Make-up kits and masks are available at larger variety stores during the month of October, and costume stores generally carry a large assortment year-round. You can use "nose putty" and foundations to build up parts on the skin, but you can also use mortician's wax, which is pliable and will receive the foundation make-up to make it blend into the skin. Besides creating growths, warts, extra noses and the sort, you can use these tools of the trade to make scars.

Step 2: Physical Effects

Physical effects includes the arm that gets chopped off, or the blood that sprays out afterward. You can use alginate molding supplies (non-toxic and found at craft stores) to create a mold of your finger, foot, etc., then cast it with a silicon blend, also available at craft stores. You can color the silicon either with pigment or foundation make-up afterward.

For fake blood, dissolve 2 tablespoons of cocoa into a cup of water, add 1/3 cup corn syrup, two teaspoons of red food coloring, and a drop (each) of yellow and green food coloring. Mix well before splattering.

Another physical effect is a dummy. You can use a mannequin, or you can create your own by sewing together a pair of pants with a shirt, and stuffing it full of rolled up newspapers (wadded newspaper doesn't have enough bulk.) For a head and hands, again, a mannequin can be very helpful. Experiment, and be inventive.

Step 3: Visual Effects

Visual effects can include lightning (which you can achieve with flashing lights and sound effects) or post-production effects, like backwards motion. Remember, you're trying to make your audience feel unsettled. Green screen effects are really useful for putting someone in a place that either doesn't exist or isn't where they normally would be. These effects require good lighting and specialized editing programs, but they're worth it. Final Cut has excellent after-effects, including the green and blue screen.

Step 4: Sound Effects

One of the first genres explored in silent film was the horror film, but a horror film without sound effects today would be unthinkable. For the sound effects, there are many libraries available, and many include tense "stingers" to add to the fright

Don't' forget the importance of music. Try to imagine "Jaws" without John Williams's haunting motif. Proper music can set and sustain the suspense you're trying to achieve to get audiences on the edge of their seats. Be careful that you use it properly, though, to get just that right tension.