In Universal Studios there are three shows, Water World, Special Effects and Animal Actors. These shows are all to show you different aspects of film making. Unfortunately, The Water World show was closed while we were there, so we didn’t get to see it.
Special effects show
During the special effects show, they sowed used the different types of special effects used to make movies. There are model buildings, the glass matte, practical stunts etc. They show a fight scene with their professional stunt crew. They showed the Foley (the process of adding sound effects after a scene was already filmed) by having volunteers from the crowd try and coordinate the sound effects with a scene from a movie. They recorded the sounds and added them to the actual scene and the speech. They showed the audience how they used a knife and fake blood to make a horror scene come to life. To show how they used mo-cap (motion capture) they had someone wear a special suit that lets the computer make him look like anything you want, in this case, a teddy bear. Next, their stunt crew performs a live fire act where they light someone on fire for about ten to fifteen seconds. They cover them in tons of layers of protective gear and fire gel to cover all the exposed skin so that if something went wrong then it would give the crew a few more seconds to react. They have the other members of their stunt crew (the ones who aren’t being lit on fire) to be ready with fire extinguishers for when the stuntman on fire wants to be put out. To end it all they got two volunteers, one to be attached to a flying rig system so that they could be lifted into the air and moved around. The other controlled their movements and flew them around by using a special app. They could control how high the other volunteer went, where they went on the grid and how fast they moved to the position. Turns out that the person on the rig wasn’t the volunteer but a stunt double! In conclusion, this show was very cool since we got to see all these different effects in action with our own eyes.
The show is all about the different animals that they used in their various productions. They start with a bird that can recognize a dollar bill. The bird flies to a volunteer holding out a dollar bill and then the bird picks up the dollar bill and flies back to the trainer. They show off Iris and Olympus, two owls that were featured in the Harry Potter movies. These two majestic animals are Eurasian eagle owls. Next, they show the crowd a macaw flying against an artificial wind current. The bird flew on a green screen so that the producers could but any background they want. They feature a dog to show how they train their different animals. They must teach each animal basic verbal and hand command including “get on your mark”, sit, up, roll over etc. A mark is a small black circle that represents where the animal should be on a certain set. Then they finish off the show with a volunteer that tells the dog three different pieces of clothing and the dog will go get them from the back room. I think this show was very good at teaching me about how animals can be trained to be used in a film.
Overall, I really enjoyed these shows and there really taught me about how special effect and animals are used to enhance a film, though I am still disappointed that I didn’t get to see the Water World show.