A Matter of Timing
What do you do when you can't use a real dinosaur or crash a real truck? Well, one solution is to use miniature models instead. Creating the believable image of a huge dinosaur thundering across the ground or a massive truck hanging in the air as it falls from a cliff is just a matter of time. See if you can do it.

• You will need: a friend to be the dinosaur star of your production, measuring tape, a stopwatch or watch with a second hand, a spool of string, and a dinosaur model as a stunt double.
• Careful casting of the stunt double can make your job as director easier. Follow this simple formula. Determine the height of your friend to the nearest foot. What is that number? Then, pick a stunt double that is the same number of inches tall. If your star is about 5 feet tall, pick a 5-inch-tall double. This will make the mathematics work without you having to do any calculations.
• Measure out 100 feet. You may need to go outside or use a long hallway.
• Have the star slowly walk that distance. How long does it take? Record the time.
• Now imagine a prehistoric scene, a dinosaur slowly dragging its giant mass across the 100 feet of ground. How long should it take? You already have the number!
• Call in the miniature stunt double. This must be shot inside your studio. Measure out 100 inches for the miniature prehistoric swamp.
• Tie a string around the miniature. Pull it over the 100 inches, timing the journey through the imagined swamp. How long did it take? If the two times match, you have shot a believable scene. If not, your audience will know.
• Try again. Move the miniature, trying to match the exact time it took your friend.
• What if the star ran instead of walking slowly? What adjustments would you make then? How do you think they make these adjustments in the movies?

Curious for an answer? Look Behind the Scenes.

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