Written by Stu Maschwitz, co-founder of the Orphanage (the legendary guerrilla visual effects studio responsible for amazing and award-winning effects in such movies as Sin City, The Day After Tomorrow, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), this book is a must-have for all those budding filmmakers and students who want to produce action movies with visual effects but don' t have Hollywood budgets. The Orphanage was created by three twenty-something visual effects veterans who wanted to make their own feature films and discovered they could do this by utilizing home computers, off the shelf software, and approaching things artistically. This guide details exactly how to do this: from planning and selecting the necessary cameras, software, and equipment, to creating specific special effects (including gunfire, Kung Fu fighting, car chases, dismemberment, and more) to editing and mixing sound and music. Its mantra is that the best, low-budget action moviemakers must visualize the end product first in order to reverse-engineer the least expensive way to get there. Readers will learn how to integrate visual effects into every aspect of filmmaking--before filming, during filming and with "in camera" shots, and with computers in postproduction. Throughout the book, the author makes specific references to and uses popular action movies (both low and big-budget) as detailed examples--including El Mariachi, La Femme Nikita, Die Hard, and Terminator 2.