During the next two months, I will be directing a new re-telling of The Little Mermaid. This version doesn't have any of those catchy Disney songs. But I am hoping it will have a lot of imagination and some rather impressive albeit low-budget special effects. The first technique I am trying to learn is a water ripple effect. Surprisingly, I haven't found to many "How To" videos on Youtube. There are a lot of DJ lighting companies selling digital projectors, but I want to do it the old fashioned way! (Plus, I've got a small budget. This is community theater we are talking about!)
There are some good websites that offer some practical advice. "Theater Effects" is a commercial website that not only sells just about any theater tech device you could wish for, they also offer a free list of "Fun Facts and Helpful Hints." Lots of topics are covered: Anything from bubbles to fog to that ripple effect I'm looking for. They don't also give detailed step-by-step info, but they provide a good overview of how each effect works.
Another handy website is "Stage Lighting for Students," perfect for anyone who is looking for a free, easy-to use guide that covers the basics of lighting design.