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Special effects in the 1920's

            In today's movies it isn't uncommon to see some sort of digital effect or C. (computer generated image(s)) in almost every movie. This is today's most common special effects method especially with movies like "The Matrix" and "The Lord of the Rings" where the objective of the special effects is to bend and redefine what is possible in these new worlds. Where did it all start though? What did cinematographers and directors do before we had computers to alter images and create effects? .
             Since there are hundreds of different kinds of special effects used in movies, which tend to be mostly different kinds of camera shots, I will only go over three that made a large impact on the special effects industry and that were used in films we saw in class, specifically "The Gold Rush" staring Charlie Chaplin. .
             Double exposure was one of the first special effects ever conceived. It is a very simple and primitive way of creating the effect of transformation from one object to another or to make an object vanish into thin air. This effect is very simply executed. Placing your camera on a tripod is easiest. Film your first shot. Then rewind your film to where you want the transformation to occur and film your second shot without moving the camera from its original place. Continue filming until you finish the shot with the transformed object. A very good example of the double exposure effect being used is in "The Gold Rush" with Charlie Chaplin. In one scene the lone prospector and Big Jim are trapped in an old house in the mountains. The problem is they have no food. What you see is the camera filming from the point of view of Big Jim, watching the lone prospector standing around the stove, then all of sudden he slowly fades out and transforms into an enormous chicken. They use the double exposure effect in this shot to give the idea to the audience that Big Jim is really hungry and starting to take the lone prospector for a big juicy chicken.

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