cinema special effects

Special effects, pop the screen!

What would cinema be without special effects, those famous tricks that, since Georges Méliès, have been deceiving our senses for our greatest happiness? At a time when digital technology is multiplying the possibilities as never before, the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie takes you to the other side of the screen. The exhibition "Special Effects - Shatter the Screen! "co-produced with the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée, invites you to become a filmmaker until August 19, 2018.
From Georges Méliès' Journey to Valérian and Luc Besson's City of a Thousand Planets, special effects have accompanied the cinema, pushing the limits of our imagination ever further. For the CNC, partnering this exhibition with the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie was an obvious choice, to allow everyone to enter into the magic of creation. Through this major exhibition, we want to show the public that France has considerable assets in the field of special effects. A field of excellence in which many French talents stand out. And I hope that discovering what goes on behind the scenes of these professions will give rise to many vocations among the youngest spectators and that they will thus become the creators of tomorrow...".
Frédérique Bredin, President of the CNC.
Qrom action films to science fiction, animation and commercials, the most striking contemporary productions all rely on special effects and offer increasingly impressive cinematic and aesthetic creations. Based on a set of techniques and technologies that provide the illusion of action, the simulation of objects, characters and exceptional phenomena, special effects remain essentially unknown and full of mystery.
The exhibition Special Effects, Crevez l'écran ! unveils the art, techniques and innovations deployed in this field by the film and audiovisual industry. With this exhibition, the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie offers visitors the opportunity to discover the behind-the-scenes of a movie set from October 17, 2017 to August 27, 2018.
The immersive scenography of the exhibition proposes a journey through four places that illustrate the four stages of the audiovisual production chain. With a design specific to each universe, the exhibition presents a pre-production office, a film set, a post-production studio and a cinema. Illustrated by different references, the exhibition :
- shows the technical culture and innovations at work in the great films;
- allows you to live or relive the history and evolution of special effects;
- shows how innovation always pushes the limits of the possible;
- reveals how art and technology nourish each other to offer the most beautiful creations.
How are these famous special effects thought out, integrated into the script and materialized? What are the professions and skills involved? These are all questions that the exhibition answers by presenting all the stages in the design and production of a film, from writing to screening in cinemas. This is done through dozens of carefully selected film excerpts.
 ■ THE OFFICE: Even before calling in the actors and cameras, the film is in pre-production: writing the script and making the storyboard, drawings and roughs are crucial steps for the film. Here, each scene is dissected to give all the parties involved, especially the supervisor, the information needed for shooting and special effects. In co-production with the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC). With the support of Studiocanal, ArtFx and Make Up For Ever Academy. 
■ ACCREDITATION: The passage and the "surprise" that precede the discovery of the film set where the visitor is invited to take a badge, a precious sesame to go through the exhibition.
■ THE PLATEAU: Conceived as a city with four filming zones, the set offers visitors the opportunity to test different filming devices, to audition and to make their own tests: creating living beings, transforming the actor, mixing real and virtual, and dissecting old footage.
Motion Capture and Capture Headset reveal their secrets; the chemistry and sculpture of the make-up are revealed, the technique of inlaying the famous green or blue backgrounds is explained.
Here we rediscover the most common unexpected and comical special effects in cinema, we note the use of the fan and we find among the most advanced special effects the 3D screen masks. A look back at the first special effects invented by Georges Méliès is also proposed. Drawing inspiration from his own magic shows, Méliès created most of the special effects, which he would stage in fairy tales, science fiction and even historical re-enactments.
■ THE STUDIO: Once shooting is over, the film goes into post-production. How do we intervene on the rendering? From the creation of landscapes to the integration of crowds, from digital dubbing to material effects, from explosions to invisible effects, the retouching of filmed images is numerous. In this part of the exhibition, the visitor looks for invisible effects and tries his hand at the post-production of special vocal, graphic, digital effects... The studio also presents the tools developed, the organisation of the teams and the economy of the software.
■ THE CINEMA ROOM: Comfortably seated in his armchair and ready to enjoy his film, one wonders about the place and status of special effects. What do they say about cinema? What effects do they have on viewers? What will tomorrow's special effects be? A reflection on their aesthetics and their place in the audiovisual industry.
■ THE EXIT: The icing on the cake, on leaving the session, the visitor is led to consult the recordings of his visit treated in an offbeat tone, the whole being projected like a humorous trailer that he can download and watch at home! To close this tour at the heart of special effects, a spectacular work of art by Alain FLEISCHER, Le voyage du brise-glace au pays des illusions - 2017, specially designed for the exhibition, invites the visitor to a reverie in the imaginary world of cinema through film excerpts projected on floating mirrors in a random movement.
Around the exhibition:
- A children's book on special effects with Actes Sud junior.
- An activity book on special effects.
- Special effects, pop the screen! Le beau livre, edited by Réjane Hamus-Vallée, co-publisher Cité / La Martinière. Paper and digital versions, to be released in early October 2017.
Exhibition " Special effects, pop the screen! "Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - 30, avenue Corentin-Cariou - 75019 Paris - France

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