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Westworld to Yuma

Westworld to Yuma

Brave the Western frontier with classic shootout effects, shotgun blasts and arterial spray. In this filmmaking masterclass, we teach the creative ways of the west.

By Ryan Connolly


Ryan Connolly

Ryan Connolly

The driving force behind Film Riot - a YouTube channel with over 1.7 million subscribers - Ryan is a talented filmmaker and presenter who inspires creators all over the world. @filmriot

Join us, stranger, and learn how to make a western movie

Ready to brave the new frontier? Join our gunslingin’, filmmakin’ band of outlaws as we head out West with HitFilm Express– the free VFX and video editing software. Westworld to Yuma brings you a seven-tutorial masterclass on how to make your own western movie.

Saddle up. It’s gonna be one hell of a ride.

Make your western movie a part of history with authentic, old-school muzzle flashes

No western is complete without a good ol’ fashioned shootout.

Tip your hat to the classics with high impact editing and a realistic muzzle flash effect Using only HitFilm Express and quality stock footage*, watch our VFX-cowboy, Axel Wilkinson, show you how to scale up your films with realistic weapon fire and a whole lotta’ outlaw attitude.

* sound effects included courtesy of Film Riot

* stock footage included courtesy of ActionVFX

Motion tracking your footage

Embrace the thrill of the chase with HitFilm Express’ quick-and-dirty tracking tricks.

Replacing a still computer screen is easy – but what happens when a character is running from the law with a screen in-hand? Help your favorite bandit make a smooth getaway with Express’ advanced motion tracking and screen replacement features.

Adding a custom interface in post

So you want to arm your cowboys with old-school swag and next-generation tech? Done.

Ride ahead of the herd with Westworld-style effects infused into your classic Western short film. Replace that battered iPad with a sleek, 24th-century interface using the screen simulation tool. It’s perfect for cell phone screens, TVs, and security cam footage!

Carrying out realistic sky replacement

Is your audience starting to question the nature of your reality?
It could be your backdrop.

Keep the illusion of beauty alive with HitFilm Express’ sky replacement tool. Film anywhere you want and design your backdrop in post. Transform a boring, flat, plain into a breathtaking mountain range, or a drab winter-sky into a sexy sunset. No travel required.

Create impact in your western shootouts with editing and VFX techniques

Go full Clint Eastwood (minus the “talking to chairs” bit) with more realistic shotgun effects.

HitFilm Express gives you all the glory of an old-fashioned gunfight with none of the pain of complicated visual effects. Just simply patch two scenes together for a super-quick, shotgun “BOOM”!

Use masking to pull off painless stunts

Question: How do you make live-men drop dead (without actually hurting them)?
Answer: Post production.

Stunt artists are experts at biting the dust with grace, but sometimes those graceful falls need a little more impact on screen. See how we filmed and edited one heroic stuntman’s fall-breaking technique to give his scene a real hard-hitting look. Do not try this at home, kids.

How to make a western movie – behind the scenes

Exactly how much moonshine did it take to bring this project to life? Find out in our horse-wranglin’, gunslingin’ behind the scenes look at Westworld to Yuma.

Ryan Connolly

Ryan Connolly

The driving force behind Film Riot - a YouTube channel with over 1.7 million subscribers - Ryan is a talented filmmaker and presenter who inspires creators all over the world. @filmriot

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