DIY Tip: Fire Flicker Effect - OFFICIAL DISCUSSION


Ok it’s not that spooky… but if you’re gonna film some ghost stories, you need a campfire. Here’s a quick DIY tip to get the look without actually setting anything ablaze. Seems basic, but even big Hollywood productions do it!

What You’ll Need:

  • Desk lamp or clamp light (We use these)
  • A dimmable incandescent light bulb
  • CTO gel or an orange, non-flammable material
  • Cheap light dimmer (we used this)

Alternately, Lite Panels have dimmers built in. We use the Astra 1x1 panels with CTO gel inserts, and have had good experiences.

(Stay tuned the rest of October for more RocketJump FRIGHT School!)

Tried anything like this before? Tell us how you did it below!


I like how cost-efficient the last tip is, but I wasn’t satisfied with the effect–it not only needs to be orange and varying in luminescence, but fire has kind of a ripple effect, almost like water. Do you think trying to shake the CTO gel will get that effect?


Rocketjump’s Halloween based name puns continue to amaze me.


@knifebladepresents when we’ve had to create a flicker effect, we’ve usually combined the dimming control while waving a gel in front of the light as you suggested. CTB works well for screen flicker, and CTO works for fire. Various layers and intensity will give you a better effect I found.

You just have to be careful of sound, gels have a fairly distinct rustling.


Great tip, never thought about doing it that way. :smile:


Definitely want to try this some time. i really love actual fire, but it is indeed a little hazardous and does not make for the safest of film sets.
Thanks for this great tip.

(and if you are wondering why I am posting this now… I was holding of from watching all the filmschool stuff, at this point I’ve forgotten why and feel really stupid. So more comments might show up in older threads :sweat_smile: )