If you're an aspiring film-maker or just a fan of cheap, awesome effects I highly, highly recommend checking out the site Indy Mogul. They basically show special effects tutorials, builds, camera effect, and even create test films to show the effect in action. They're very big on buiding a sense of community with their projects. Comments and requests for specific effects and builds are always welcomed and encouraged.
Here are few of my personal favorites...
Build your own MACHINE GIRL arm!!
The reason I included these is that Eric Beck, the host, is taking a step back to restructure Indy Mogul. He's now put out an open call to the interwebs to find a replacement for his show Backyard FX. It basically entails a 5-7 minute video of a tutorial build and a test film. Consider it an open audition/job interview.
I've crafted a short script for my test film and now I'm drafting out the tutorial. I'm not entirely sure how I can shoot this all myself, but I guess there lies the challenge. I don't even necessarily have the equipment. This will be something totally on me, and at times, I wish I had someone to share this anxiety with, an Ethan to my Joel Coen. But if this change of pace was easy, everyone would be doing it. Submissions are due by February 28th and you can find out more information if you want to submit yourself by clicking here.
As previously promised, here's another storyboard from my buddy's defunct short film. Looking back, I do miss the flow of watercolors, and compared to my current sketchbooks, my pen work has improved with stronger, steadier lines. I do need to work on drawing basic machinery too.
Here is: The Arrival