Physical Effects in Movie Making

READING PASSAGE

Questions 1-2

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

1. The main idea discussed in the text is

A. there is a variety of physical effects which are helpful for movie makers in many situations.
B. the crew has to look for perfect ways to conduct the physical effects.
C. physical effects are produced in front of the camera.
D. physical effects have a long history.
The last paragraph says “In conclusion, there are many types of physical effects that are commonly used and considered important in movie making these days.” and the whole Reading Passage explains this idea.

2. According to the text,

A. filmmakers often wait for the weather to perform the scene they need.
B. filmmakers generate atmospheric events by using physical effects.
C. filmmakers usually use visual effects which often take place during principal photography or in post-production.
D. filmmakers produce a great number of stunts, bullet hits, explosions and collapsing buildings in a film.

The second paragraph says “Rather than rely on the weather to perform as needed, filmmakers look to physical effects to generate such atmospheric events as rain, fog, snow and wind.”

A is wrong because the text says that “Rather than rely on the weather to perform as needed, filmmakers look to physical effects to generate such atmospheric events...”

C is wrong because the text only states that filmmakers use “physical effects” not “visual effects”.

D is wrong because the text only states that “Stunts or dangerous actions, bullet hits, explosions and collapsing buildings are also considered physical effects” but it does not mention their number in a film.

Questions 3-5

Look at the following films (Question 3–5) and the list of physical effects below.
Match each film with its correct physical effect, AF.
Type the correct letter, AF, in blanks 3–5.

3. Titanic   

The second paragraph says “In the 1997 film Titanic, miniatures in a tank represented the sinking ocean liner in some scenes.”

4. Singing in the Rain   

The second paragraph says “Sometimes, as in the 1952 film Singing in the Rain, water was mixed with paint or with milk to help it show up on screen.”

5. Twister   

The third paragraph says “Small fans ruffled the actors’ hair and clothes, while a Boeing 707 jet engine generated the tornados in the film Twister (1996).”

                              List of Physical Effects

   A   Fireworks are created by thousands of burning metal particles.

   B   Water was combined with paint or milk.

   C   Big fans with 1000V power were used to create a hurricane.

   D   A Boeing 707 jet engine created tornados.

   E   Smoke was produced by heated oil.

   F   Miniatures in a tank imitate the sinking large ship in some scenes.

Questions 6-12

Complete the summary using the list of words, AI, below.
Type the correct letter, AI, in blanks 6–12.

Filmmakers often use physical effects to form the 6.    when they shoot the scenes. There are many types of 7.   . They use sprinklers to create rain which is likely to be warmed before shooting in order that actors are 8.   . Besides, they may mix substances together or even use 9.    such as ships or vessels to illustrate some water scenes. Wind is often produced by fans or even an airplane engine while fog may come out from an actor’s mouth thanks to 10.    which is carefully wrapped in protective layers. Salt was one method used to create snow for winter scenes and filmmakers even tried another way, a 11.    of white sand, chalk and crystals. However, a popular way to bring snow to the audiences is 12.    which move like real snow. To make the scenes exactly the same, they also combine computer graphic and physical effects together. In general, physical effects are important and widely known in movie making these days but they need thoroughly editing and arranging to produce lively shots.

  A  miniature models

  B  atmospheric events

  C  comfortable

physical effects

dry ice

combination

ripped pieces of papers

stunt coordinator

 different substances

6. B because the second paragraph says “filmmakers look to physical effects to generate such atmospheric events”.

7. D because the last paragraph says “there are many types of physical effects that are commonly used and considered important”.

8. C because the second paragraph says “produce cinematic rain, which may be heated to keep the actors comfortable”.

9. A because the second paragraph says “Scenes that take place in the water or on rough seas are usually filmed in a studio tank with miniature ships and other vessels”.

10. E because the fourth paragraph saysDry ice simulates fog and will sometimes be held, carefully wrapped in protective layers”.

11. F because the fifth paragraph says “A combination of white sand, chalk and crystals was tried.”

12. G because the fifth paragraph says Ripped pieces of paper, which move almost like real snow, are a common solution.”

Vocabulary Review

I. Scan the passage for the following words/phrase (on the left) and read the sentences containing them carefully.
Match these words/phrase with their definitions (on the right).

Words

Definitions

1. firework (n) a) to produce or create something
2. explosion (n) b) the sudden violent bursting and loud noise of something such as a bomb exploding
3. generate (v) c) a small device containing powder that burns or explodes and produces bright colored lights and loud noises, used especially at celebrations
4. hurricane (n) d) a violent storm with very strong winds
5. be substituted for sth e) to be used instead of somebody/something else

1.   2.   3.   4.   5.  

Vocabulary Review

II. Complete the following sentences using the suitable words/phrase in the box below.
Sometimes you have to change the form of the words/phrase to make them grammatically correct in the sentences.

   generate - firework - explosion - hurricane - be substituted for sth

1. We need someone to    new ideas.

2. We are looking forward to the    display tonight.

3. The    is now approaching the coast of Vietnam.

4. We heard an    when we entered our home.

5. The local bus service    cars in some towns for ages.

READING PASSAGE

Below is the Reading Passage with more useful words and phrases highlighted in blue.

           Physical effects, also known as practical, special or mechanical effects, are performed in front of the camera during principal photography. They include weather effects, water effects and pyrotechnics, in other words, the techniques to display fireworks. Stunts or dangerous actions, bullet hits, explosions and collapsing buildings are also considered physical effects.

          Rather than rely on the weather to perform as needed, filmmakers look to physical effects to generate such atmospheric events as rain, fog, snow and wind. Sprinklers with various kinds of nozzles produce cinematic rain, which may be heated to keep the actors comfortable. Sometimes, as in the 1952 film Singing in the Rain, water was mixed with paint or with milk to help it show up on screen. Scenes that take place in the water or on rough seas are usually filmed in a studio tank with miniature ships and other vessels. In the 1997 film Titanic, miniatures in a tank represented the sinking ocean liner in some scenes.

          Winds ranging from light breezes to hurricanes are created by wind machines, that is, fans of different sizes and powers. Small fans ruffled the actors’ hair and clothes, while a Boeing 707 jet engine drove the tornados in the film Twister (1996). To make wind visible to the camera, lightweight particles such as dust or leaves may be scattered in its path.

          Smoke “bombs”, dry ice, pressurized air, and smoke machines using heated oil produce smoke effects. Smoke and lighting effects can also give an illusion of underwater conditions, a technique called “dry for wet.” Dry ice simulates fog and will sometimes be held, carefully wrapped in protective layers, in an actor’s mouth to vaporize his or her breath in cold weather scenes.

          Traditionally, salt was substituted for snow in winter scenes, but because it is so harmful to the environment, other alternatives were developed. A combination of white sand, chalk and crystals was tried. Plastics, foams, painted glass, liquid paraffin and potato starch, and falling ash were also found to be effective. Ripped pieces of paper, which move almost like real snow, are a common solution. Several different substances, depending on the needs of a scene, may be used at the same time. New materials that melt like real snow may be used in close-up shots. Today, computer graphics (CG) are often used to paint backgrounds snowy white, while physical snow effects are used in the foreground.

          In conclusion, there are many types of physical effects that are commonly used and considered important in movie making these days. However, with any type of physical effects, the physical effects crew has to devise strategic ways to operate them in order to protect film crew, stunt coordinators and the technicians themselves as safe as possible along with the lively and real scenes.

 
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Physical Effects in Movie Making
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