Exploring a directors vision for an SFX scene can often require more than words. Even a simple description such as ‘Heavy rain’ could mean anything from ‘enough to get you wet’ to ‘torrential storm’. How rain looks will depend on what in the narrative calls for the rain; is it the powerful sound that is driving, or the shimmers of light in the droplets, or is it more about conveying the condition of the cold and damp cast, or providing a visual distortion that can keep viewers guessing? Because of all these variables, using reference videos and images can really assist in clarifying an effect, and these references can then become valuable tools when commissioning your SFX team and budgeting your scenes.
Luckily help is at hand – our partners, MACHINESHOP have meticulously catalogued and categorised their output for over two decades, having worked primarily in the quick turnaround world of commercials this has resulted in thousands of individual projects, many of which are available to explore online.
Their website is searchable by SFX category or through a search bar, and their YouTube channel has even more videos resulting in a huge archive of short video and image resources that can be quickly and efficiently used to reference your effects. What’s more the majority of projects have BTS snippets which provide enough information for you to see the scale of equipment and plant required, or to get a glimpse into how they solved some very interesting visual, and - as you might expect with a name like MACHINESHOP - mechanical problems.
If there’s ever anything you can’t find, the team are just a phone call away with a wealth of knowledge and even more references.