View Full Version : Creating hallucinations?

12-11-2010, 07:47 PM
I'm working on a scene where one of the characters, has this unbearable headaches that causes him to have visions in his head. Do you guys have any suggestions on how to get this across in editing, by switching from him.. to what he's "seeing" in his head?

12-12-2010, 11:49 AM
I guess it's a bit of a cliche, but the blurred zoom look and Lensbaby type blurring of the edges of the frame tends to suggest this.

You can do a zoom blur in post. It works better if these are very short flashes, rather than a whole scene. If it's a whole scene, then maybe some kind of transition effect and a different color scheme and feel to the "vision."

12-12-2010, 12:43 PM
The the liquefy effect in After Effects is what you want maybe combined with the kalidescope

12-12-2010, 09:39 PM
Hi Azmyth, congratulations on your movie "Exit 101" :). Have you seen 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans'? Nicholas Cage is hallucinating / going mental and he sees iguanas in the stakeout room, nobody else can see them. I like the way this is handled as there is no vision transition effect; what he is hallucinating is there smack in the middle of the frame. This gives the scene a really uneasy feel and makes his vision seem more real to us / to him, but this kind of thing may not necessarily be what you want to go with. Here's the clip on youtube:

12-13-2010, 07:42 PM
POV shots.

when you show a closeup, the next shot you show, very often , can and will be the literal viewpoint of the character. so...

1. CU shot of crazy guy
2. next shot is his POV- just make it craaaazzzzy any way you feel like it (fx, warp it, edit wierd, superimpositions, whatever)

See number 5.


sometimes you don't need the CU first, see Predator. ZZZZRRRMMMFFFF INFRARED!!!!!

or evil dead.

If your doing horror, bizarre POVs are the shiznit.

brrururuauaaaaarrrhhhhhhhh The unseeen forcccceeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Pietro Impagliazzo
12-14-2010, 06:17 AM
You can work with overexposure too, sometimes when we are between awaken and asleep our eyes are very sensitive.

Implementing surreal elements in the actions themselves is the best part IMO, but that's screenwriting choices and I'm not sure how the scene goes.

12-27-2010, 10:02 PM
But then I just got out of Black Swan (http://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/black-swan-2010/), and I have to suggest you don't let the audience know shit until later. I prefer this method overwhelmingly, anyway.

12-28-2010, 02:32 PM
But then I just got out of Black Swan (http://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/black-swan-2010/), and I have to suggest you don't let the audience know s**t until later. I prefer this method overwhelmingly, anyway.

Yeah, Black Swan was awesome. Great movie to take a girlfriend to, by the way.
Of course, the idea there was that we don't know what is real and what is a dream,
la Mulholland Drive.

However, it sounds like Joseph wants to make it clear that the sequence is a hallucination,
in which case, clear cues are necessary. You might want to read up on the aura (http://www.migraine-aura.org) seen by
people who suffer from migraines. I always enjoy it when something in a movie depends
on insider knowledge.

Don't forget that you can create a dream effect with sound, too:
either some weird glass bowls thingy, or whispering echoes, pitch change...

03-07-2011, 09:03 PM
Double vision is pretty easy to fake in a video editing program.

03-29-2011, 07:14 AM
I find that most hallucination-type effects also have overblown whites.

03-31-2011, 05:57 AM

If you've not already seen it, then you should watch the entire of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, as (for me anyway) that movie is a masterclass in how to film hallucinations.

The way i like to do it is through the use of a fisheye & slowly tilting the camera throughout the shots. If it's a transition that you want, between the 'real world' & this person's POV, then slowly creep upto their face to make a close up with a fisheye, with them reeling & looking confused & then cut to a POV shot (also with the fisheye), but this time introduce your effects, like warping or enhanced colours. Also try messing around with frame-rates aswell. If there's any dialogue, then get the other actors (if there are any) to move slower & say their lines slower than usual, and then speed the footage up & get the actors to overdub the correctly spoken audio. There's a fantastic drug-taking scene in the movie Chopper (with Eric Bana) where this is applied.