Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pepper's Ghost

I'm a sucker for physical effects. If it can be done "on-set", or "in-camera," it just gives me such a kick.

One such tried and true effect is Pepper's Ghost. It essentially hinges on the transmission and reflection of light. Wikipedia does a better job of explaining, so for that you can click here.

It's simple, elegant, and when done well- beautifully effective. You just can't beat an effect that literally happens before your eyes. It feels real... because it IS. Real beams of light, being directed and controlled, for effect.

The effect has been used by many large amusement park shows (Disney's, for example), but I think its use in low budget traveling sideshows is more interesting. I love the idea of something so mystifying and effective happening in an otherwise rag-tag setting.

A classic example is the "Girl To Gorilla" attraction.

I've embedded a video below that is a charming home made version of the "Girl To Gorilla" trick.

It's wonderfully effective, and the creepy night-vision quality only heightens the excitement!

It warms my heart to see physical effects still wowing the crowds (and freaking out little kids)...

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