Video productionHow to

Create movie-style horror effects

Turn actors into ghosts and zombies and generate gore galore - these instructional videos show you how.

Looking to improve your makeup, special effects and video production skills? Video sharing service Vimeo offers a series of great (and free) instructional videos as part of its Vimeo Video School service. And they've posted two videos for Halloween that provide a great introduction to some basic horror effects...

The first, Scary Special Effects, explains how you can turn an actor into a ghost using an editor that can complete a chroma key effect (they use Final Cut Pro). There's also advice on how to create a gunshot effect using a blood packet and some fishing wire, plus an walkthrough of basic zombie makeup.

In the follow up video, Scary Special Effects: Part Boo! you'll learn how to create spooky eyes using After Effects, how to give an actor a demon voice and how to master the 'Man in the Mirror' technique.

Finally, if you want to get serious and start creating full-on prosthetics, follow this great video in which special effects makeup artist Francis McDonald explains how to make a head-mold to form the basis of a prosthetic marks that fits perfectly and looks convincing.

Note: this is an introduction only. If you are untrained in prosthetics, we recommend you take further instruction before creating your first piece, especially around the vital area of keeping the airways clear.

We hope you enjoy the videos and if there's any technique you end up putting into practice, share the results with us in the comments below!

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