October 7, 2016

Watch: How to Pull Off an In-Camera Jekyll and Hyde Transformation with Lighting

This classic, in-camera special effect turns your Jekylls into Hydes with just two lights and a little makeup.

It's the Halloween season, which means we're taking every opportunity to explore things that makes horror cinema awesome. Today, those things are makeup and special effects. RocketJump Film School has shared this fantastic tutorial that shows you how to pull off the famous special effect used by director Rouben Mamoulian and DP Karl Struss in 1931's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which depicts the man-to-monster transformation in real time.

This effect may not be as versatile as you might've hoped for anything but a black and white silent era monster movie throwback, since it only works in black and white and may be too subtle for the kind of "transformation" you're looking for. But for filmmakers who like to experiment, the concept of lighting a shot using contrasting colors may prove to be useful in other ways. I'd be interested to figure out how drastic I could make the transformation effect appear—how much makeup could I add before its corresponding light fails to hide it?

Have you ever tried this effect? What worked? What didn't work? Let us know in the comments below!     

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