Visual Effects – Red Queen Trailer

Hello! I’m putting the YouTube links up the top here for the skippers TLDR the rest of this post.

Final Red Queen trailer.

Visual Effects Breakdown of three of my special effects.

The animatic I worked from.

I’m not actually going to be pursuing the Visual Effects pathway next year as I am choosing Animation, however, I have learned a lot this year, many skills that will serve me well in the years to come.

My Visual Effects project spanned the entire second semester, we had to conceptualise an idea for a 30-second film trailer, create the story, theme, write a script and treatment, create a storyboard, make an animatic, then film it, edit it and add special effects.

First up I want to thank my amazing friends who acted in it and helped me to film it, this wouldn’t have been possible without their crazy talent and enthusiasm, I owe you all a drink or cake or something. So thank you  Kalindi, Nathalia, Mel and Conor, you guys are amazing.

I based my whole idea around the book I had just read and really enjoyed and hope that they might make it into an actual Movie. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard which you can find by following this link to Goodreads. I have to say thanks to my friend Kate who suggested I read it because otherwise, I might not have found it.

Below are my treatments, script, storyboard etc.


Treatment: Red Queen v.1

We are inside a huge cavernous area, it’s impossibly tall. Below balconies where the royal and silver bloods sit a battle of epic proportion is taking place. Twelve girls battle for the right to marry Prince Calor take their place as the next Queen. Flashes of fire, and metal and water flash below an electric caged area as the girls use their magically ability to fight for supremacy.

Above in the balcony Mare, a young red blood girl serves her masters. She is dressed in a simple red cotton dress which marks her as a servant.

She serves a drink to a young noble who asks her to come sit a while, patting to his knee and indicating he wants more than just casual conversation.

Mare shakes her head, smiling demurely and backs away. Pausing to compose herself she leans over the balcony. A look of rye amusement crosses her face as she scorns the girls below. How they put themselves through such fight all for a boy is beyond her.

She glances across the battle zone expanse at the balcony which houses the Royal family, and at the Prince who had snatched her from obscurity and given her this demeaning job serving. She studies his face for a moment before chastising herself for own girlish fantasy and moves to go back to work.

As she steps back from the edge she bumps full bodily into the solid chest of the young noble who had asked her to sit with him. He grabs her arm and she shrieks and leaps back from him.

Before Mare realises what is happening to her she falls backwards over the barrier, landing with a thump on the electric barrier.

‘This is it,’ she thinks as she falls, ‘this is how I die’. (voice over?)

Her face tightens in anticipation of the electricity that is sure to flow through her body, but instead of devouring her, it embodies her, and lends her it’s strength. Sparks circle around her as she drops easily to the floor, her knees bending gently on impact with the ground.

She looks around her in wonder, but she doesn’t have much chance for reflection because the she is standing in front of Evangeline, the favourite to win the hand of the Prince.

Knives swirl around her body in a glinting display, she cocks her head and displeasure mars her otherwise perfect face. 

Both girls head off against each other, and as Evangeline rushes towards Mare to attack her lightening explodes and envelopes the entire scene.



My story is about a girl who is treated like a slave simply because of the colour of her blood. She is red blooded and their oppressors are silver blooded. Silver blooded people possess magical powers, the kings line can create fire, but there are other magical powers like the ability to mould and control metal, controlling magnets, controlling the mind, having skin that turns to stone and many more.

My story focuses on when the protagonist first finds out that even though she has red blood also possesses a magic power. There is a fight going on in the arena between the silver blooded, the like to hold these fights to show the red bloods how superior they are. The protagonist is a servant there but she falls from the gallery onto the electric force field.

She should be electrocuted and die but instead she becomes one with the electricity and becomes the lightening girl. The silvers in the area try to kill her but she uses her new found magical ability to control the electricity around her and knocks the antagonists away.



The theme I want to base my trailer on is: Society and Class, Identity, Power, and fantasy.
Other films in a similar genre I like are The Hunger Games and Divergent.



Script: Red Queen


Sounds of fighting can be heard below.


              Come here, sit a while.


              I’m sorry, I’ve got to get back to

the kitchen.


              Shakes head in disbelief


MARE backs away from Noble closer to the barrier


NARRATOR (Captions)

              In a world divided by blood and magic.

Sounds of fighting below slightly louder.



              I told you to come sit a while Red.

Screen dips to white, with red motive.


              The truth doesn’t matter.

YOUNG NOBLE grabs MARE by the arm.


              MARE pulls her arm from his grip.

              I Said no!

YOUNG NOBLE pushes MARE backwards.

MARE falls backwards over the barrier.


              MARE is falling

              This is it, this is how I die.

Mare squeezes her eyes shut and braces for impact.

MARE lands on electric barrier.

Electricity pulses around MARE, but MARE does not die.

MARES eyes open in surprise.


NARRATOR (Captions)

              It only matters what people believe.


Mare falls to floor and lands in a crouch. As she looks up she looks into the face of EVANGELINE. Knives magically circle her body.

EVANGELINE flings open her arms to attack MARE, MARE glances down at her hands as electricity dances around her fingers. MARE responds and electricity explodes from MARE.


Coming soon.

(If I need time add the TV idea in here – girl on glitch news cast, rise up, rise red as dawn speech)


Red Queen Title Hand drawn thumbnails 1 Hand drawn thumbnails 2 Hand drawn thumbnails 3 Hand drawn thumbnails 4 storyboard 1storyboard 2storyboard 3 storyboard 4moodboard

After filming my footage and editing it together I refined my idea of what type of simulation I was going to use in my project, instead of trying to emulate swords I decided that it would be better to stick to something that was more obviously ‘magical’ so instead gave them the power of creating fire. I went about this by researching how to create fire and electricity inside Maya and then how I was going to put this inside my project.

After talking to Mark and getting feedback on the clarity of my project I decided to put in a voice over that would more clearly define what my story was about.

Overall I am pleased with how this has turned out and I have learned a lot about creating a short film project from conception to final production.

Although I look at this and think to myself “IT’S SO AMATURE” I also have to stand back and give myself credit for the sheer volume of skills I have learned in such a short space of time. Skills that have thankfully been helpful in other areas of study.

I see that this lands very short of an operatic movie trailer, but I did try to keep in mind what I had learned about creating one and believe I have told a short concise story that would hopefully lead the viewer to want to watch the entire Movie.



Music used in animatic: royalty free
Stock footage used in final production from: royalty free
Sound effects sourced from and the files provided by Jason on the K drive and created personally by me using Mix Craft Pro and Adobe Audition.
Background music by Joshua Empyre

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