Jaw Dropping Cinematic Thrills at FUNN’s SFX Showcase

  • Sharjah-based organisation FUNN hosts interactive special effects exhibition

The exciting world of cinematic stunts and special effects was brought closer to children and families on May 10th when FUNN hosted the Special Effects Event (SFX) in Expo Centre, Sharjah. As the first-of-its-kind activity to be held in the UAE, the interactive exhibition gave visitors an unrivalled opportunity to learn about the latest illusions and visual tricks that make Hollywood blockbusters come to life.

The latest film-making activity from FUNN – a Sharjah-based organisation dedicated to helping the younger generations become engaged in media arts – SFX incorporated an array of activities designed to immerse visitors into world of movie magic. Included in its two-day programme were camera trickery, CGI workshops and action scene set-ups, with industry professionals running workshops and sessions to reveal the industry’s special effects secrets.

“Cinema is one of modern history’s greatest art forms, with the industry having developed significantly over the past few decades. In the process of its evolution, it has attracted a huge number of fans and enthusiasts. Cinema became particularly popular after incorporating modern technology and advanced audio-visual and special effects, which are fundamental requirements for making the most exciting and spectacular movies. The incorporation of special effects in a movie requires the input of highly creative, talented and passionate people” said Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and Director of Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival.

She added: “I am delighted that the opening day of SFX saw a high footfall of participants, particularly children and young adults, who were keen to immerse themselves in its programme of educational and entertainment activities. This event – as well as other events organized by FUNN – will hopefully encourage more young people to consider a professional career in the world of special effects.”

Visitors to SFX were able to insert themselves into a car accident scenario that involved a vehicle precariously suspended in a mountain crevasse. The car had access points for visitors to climb on to its roof and recreate how an actor would shoot a crash scene. A second crime tableau enabled participants to become amateur sleuths and use their detective skills to work out who was the guilty party, with an SFX team hidden nearby playing celebratory music and shining a spot-light on those who successfully figured it out.

Aural effects were the draw at SFX’s bat cave, where visitors were taken on a mine cart through an installation that resembled a darkened cavern complete with the noises of its wildlife inhabitants, including bats, crows and snakes. At a separate feature, visitors were able to experience the sights and sounds of the four seasons in the space of minutes, with temperature changes to suit the time of year adding to the authenticity.

Cosmetics, rubber masks and costumes have been a main aspect of movie special effects ever since the advent of the silver screen and a professional make-up instructor was on site at SFX to apply his skills to the visitors’ faces, helping them to feel an integral part of the event. In addition, SFX’s eight ushers portrayed unique characters as they engaged with the attendees, while educational SFX make-up workshops were held at different times during the exhibition.

In a series of special workshops, young visitors are being introduced to photography effects, 3D modelling, holographic effects, creative lighting, light painting and special effects makeup.

SFX was hosted in conjunction with Sharjah TV (Media Sponsor), SAE Institute (Educational Partner), Nikon (Exclusive Imaging Partner), Al Shuala Media (Support Sponsor) and Expo Centre Sharjah (Support Sponsor).

FUNN aims to nurture a future generation of creative artists in media and film, and promotes new media works and films made by children and young filmmakers of the UAE at international film festivals, and conferences worldwide. Their larger goal is to foster talent through these festivals, conferences and workshops locally and internationally, and form a close-knit network of talented young people who can share experiences and expertise on a global scale.