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KING KONG (1933)
Most Visual Effects use a process known as "compositing" to combine several elements (an explosion, a creature, a main actor) into one shot to make the effect look real. Today, most of these compositing effects are done digitally (in a computer), but even way back in 1933, movies were using compositing to sell their effects. Check out the still from the original "King Kong."
King Kong was a clay figurine and was animated using a process known as "claymation." The composited shot includes the clay King Kong carefully inserted into a shot with real-life actors.
Today, characters like Bumblebee in "Transformers" are also composited into shots with actors. The main difference is that the Bumblebee "figurine" is a complex digital model, animated in a computer. Otherwise, the process is nearly identical.
HOW'D THEY DO THAT?
Next time you forget your clapboard, remember this simple trick: before the shot, look into the camera, say the take or scene number, and hold up that many fingers. Then clap. This doesn't work as well for takes 11 and up, but it works great in a pinch!
The short answer is "Yes." Great movies, like most great things, require planning. A storyboard is the blueprint for your movie. They help you see your movie before you shoot it. So make a storyboard. They're actually kinda fun.
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