Special Effects

Category: Entertainment . Last updated June 20, 2023.

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Chemistry is everywhere, even in the movies. Look behind the scenes to see how science rather than “magic” produces spectacular effects.


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  • Creating Light with Luminol from AACT
    Observe a chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of light, demonstrating chemiluminescence.
  • Milk of Magnesia Magic from AACT
    Observe a color change in milk of magnesia as vinegar is added.
  • Boiling Water & Liquid Nitrogen from AACT
    A specific combination boiling water and liquid nitrogen forms a cloud as water vapor in the air condenses on the cold gaseous nitrogen.
  • Secret Message from AACT
    Reveal a hidden message while understanding simple acid/base chemistry and indicators.
  • Dry Ice Color Show from Flinn Scientific
    Dry ice and indicator solution are used to create a unexpected colorful show!



    • How Movie Make-up Artists Work from How Stuff Works
      Among the many responsibilities of a make-up artist for a film, includes researching and designing the right type of make-up to be used.
    • Smoke and Fog from American Society of Cinematographers
      Get it straight from people who use the effects to create their vision, with this article from a publication for cinematographers.
    • Special Effects Artist from Berklee
      Combine chemistry with many other areas to make a career out of effects and illusions.


    • The Chemistry of Hollywood Fake Blood from ACS Reactions
      Reactions loves Halloween so this year we’re giving you a historical, chemistry, rundown of fake blood, plus tips on how to make your own!