EFX and Sound example

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EFX and Sound

This paper will be devoted to the analysis of a great movie “Apocalypse Now” that was shot in 1979 by the famous producer Francis Ford Coppola. Being a movie about the war in Vietnam, the film is much deeper. It gives the possibility to examine the peculiarities of consequent changes of humans’ inner world, which were affected by the world of war overfilled with anger, madness, and sorrow. The plot of the movie is focused deeply on two key characters: Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) and Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando).

Willard had to rescue Kurtz and kill him due to the fact Colonel has gone mad and killed several American soldiers. Moreover, Kurtz managed to settle deep in the jungles and gather around him many locals that treated Kurtz like God. Finally Willard rescued Kurtz and killed him. However, during the movie Willard totally changed his attitude to life-being and figured out that the life was full of frightful horror and there was nothing to live for. Even ending episodes depicted Willard saying “Horror”.

However, the present paper will not be focused on the plot or emotional aspects of characters’ incredible play. The main attention will be paid to the issues of special effects, music, and sound.

Special effects

The features of depicting things from the side which is impossible in the real life are highly popular in the contemporary cinematography. Moreover, shooting the film without the usage of special effects is something unreal today. However, in the end of 1970th dealing with special effects was rather complicated and challengeable feature. Nevertheless, this issue was highly utilized during the shooting process of “Apocalypse Now”.

The explosions of napalm, scenes of killing people, and many air flight scenes were shot with the help of special effects. The filmmakers cooperated with Special Effects Unlimited studio in order to create a highly realistic movie for that time. Special effects are divided into two main groups: Bluescreens and Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). It can be claimed that CGI was only partially utilized. It is only about color saturation, contrast adjustments, and enlargement of the fire effects (like in the scenes of napalm explosions and helicopters’ attacks). At the same time bluescreens as well as trick photography could have also been used in the scenes of dialogs in helicopters and during various explosions. However, all the episodes were extremely realistic.

Sound and Music

The sound mix of the reviewed movie was 70 mm 6-Track. The film was filled with both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds. The diegetic sounds were applied to the scenes of explosions, dialogues, and even during the helicopters’ attacks (despite the incidental music the sounds of engines were clearly distinguishable). However, many episodes had a clear prevalence of non-diegetic sounds. The best example was the scene of the helicopter attack with Ride of the Valkyries playing as an incidental music. At the same time, the majority of episodes possessed the mix of various types …

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