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Special Effects

Special Effects

(AGES: 5 -18)

Special Effects Title.jpg

Special Effects Workshop Program

At all times, the cinema has been pleased to create imaginary and dreamlike worlds populated by fabulous or monstrous creatures, time or space travel and characters with inhuman powers. But how do you go about filming what you cannot see in the real world? You can discover how!

            Get to know the word of special effects and learn about (or re-discover) the work of one pioneer in the field: Georges Méliès. Appearance, disappearance, duplication of characters, gigantic and tiny creatures will be on the program. Through a playful and creative workshop, discover why cinema has been and always will be “magical.”


 - Immerse participants in the early days of film history to understand that the films they watch today are the result of a long history.

- Understand that cinema is the art of moving images and that special effects will be imposed on the images, and not on the reality.

- To discover how to use a camera as well as the primordial role of the editing in the special effects process.

- To develop the participants' creativity while taking into account the technical constraints of the “7th Art” (referring to the art of filmmaking).

- Encourage the participants collaborate as the cinema is a collective art form where everyone contributes, according to their role, to a common goal.


The program below depends on the duration of the workshop:

- A half-day workshop will focus on Module 1.

- A one-day workshop will include modules 1 to 4.

- A two-day workshop will include all the modules.

Modules 1 to 4 are accompanied by a list of films and instructional tracks that teachers can use later to expand in class what was covered during the workshop.


Module 1: Introduction and first disappearances

- Discussion on the invention of cinema (When? How? ...). Provide filmstrips and explain that a moving picture is a sequence of still pictures.

- Discussion on special effects. To hear what the participants know, and in which films they see them...

- After presenting a film with a disappearance, we invite the participants to guess what the special effect is and to present it again to reveal the trick. Presentation of the effect on the editing software.

- Staging and editing, in small groups, of a small sequence containing one or more disappearances.


A Trip to the Moon - Georges Méliès - 1902

2001 A Space Odyssey - Stanley Kubrick - 1968

The Star Wars saga

The following modules are all structured in the same way. An excerpt of a film containing special effects is presented and participants are invited to discover it by themselves and then make a short sequence containing this effect. Each session is the opportunity for a discussion about special effects according to the angle of approach of the special effect involved.

Module 2: Duplicating a character

Work around the lens cache technique.

For the actors, it will be a question of finding the right timing.

This session can be accompanied by a small presentation and introduction to the green screen technique.


The Melomane - Georges Méliès - 1903

Multiplicity - Harold Ramis - 1996

Module 3: Gigantic or Tiny Creatures

Work around Gulliver's Journey as well as the placement of the camera that allows to rig the viewpoint.

This session can be accompanied by a small presentation and introduction to the green screen technique.


The trip from Gulliver to Lilliput and to the Giants - Georges Méliès - 1902

The Shrinking Man - Jack Arnold - 1957

Ant Man - Payton Reed - 2015


Module 4: Pixilation

Discussion around stop-motion animation as a way to create special effects. This technique has been used a lot in cinema—think about King Kong, Metropolis, Jason and the Argonauts or Robocop.


The Electric Hotel - Segundo de Chomón - 1908

Neighbors - Norman MacLaren - 1952

Gisele Kerosen - Jan Kounen - 1990

Human Skateboard - PES


Module 5: Creating a fantastic short film

Two half-days will be devoted to the creation of a short film while the writing will be constrained to include a large number of special effects.

The first half-day will be dedicated to script writing, storyboard creation, casting and location tracking.

The second will be devoted to the shooting and editing of the film.


A compilation session of the short films and sequences shot throughout the workshop will take place. If this screening is public (for example, in the presence of parents or other classes of the school), we can invite participants to present and facilitate a discussion about their own films and include one or more of the classic short films viewed during the workshop.


Half-day Workshops
(3 hours)

A half-day workshop will focus on Module 1

1 facilitator for up to 20 participants, 200$

For a larger group, please inquire if you will need a second facilitator (this will mean a higher fee)

Full-day Workshops
(6 hours)

A one-day workshop will include modules 1 to 4

1 facilitator for up to 20 participants, 400$

For a larger group, please inquire if you will need a second facilitator (this will mean a higher fee)

Multi-day Workshops
(2+ days)

A two-day workshop will include all the modules.

Students will gain a deeper understanding of all filmmaking processes. Freeze Frame can offer workshops that range in intensity and length to suit your classroom and/or curriculum needs. Contact our office for prices

Required materials to be provided by the participants: a room equipped with a video projector and a screen

Please note that workshops outside of Winnipeg require an additional $ 0.40 / km for the round trip.

For remote areas, other fees may be added.

Birthday Parties and Summer Workshops

Freeze Frame is a great solution for personal birthday parties, day cares and day camps for all your summer activities. Don't hesitate to contact us!