What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Epic Movie FX is a special-effects app that allows users to overlay Hollywood-style action images like fiery bombs, plane crashes, bazooka blasts, and whirling cyclones over any video taken on a mobile device. These aren't Hollywood-quality effects, but they are good, and the app itself is very simple to use. Because Epic Movie FX's entire point is to add shocking action to videos, the images that users can choose from are violent and could be disturbing to some people (especially if a kid uses a video created with this app as a prank and shows it to a younger kid without clueing them in that it's a fake). Perhaps this could be a tool for aspiring teen action filmmakers, but Epic Movie FX is not recommended for younger kids who may not yet have developed the perspective to use it wisely.
What kids can learn
- digital creation
Engagement, Approach, Support
For kids who love special effects, Epic Movie FX is highly engaging. Though they're not Hollywood-level, the images are easy enough to add to video, and, at least for a moment, they appear realistic.
Kids learn a bit about how special effects are superimposed on video by doing the superimposing themselves. There's no detailed instruction or explanation of how it happens technically, just experiential learning.
Basic step-by-step instructions are all that's necessary.
What's it about?
Open EPIC MOVIE FX, choose a special effect, point your mobile device, and tap where you want the effect to be seen on the video screen. Press record. Press stop. Playback is equally as straightforward. Videos are stored in your device's image gallery.
Is it any good?
For a free app, Epic Movie FX is impressive in its ability to create quite realistic (but definitely not close-to-Hollywood-level) effects. The app is very easy to use, and, though there have been reports of it acting buggy on some devices, it worked well during this review. It would be nice if the developers added some "epic" effects that didn't necessarily reflect real-life violent destruction for young moviemakers who don't want military or natural-disaster violence in their films but who still want to add some special-effects-style action. Ads appear on each page, which can be distracting.
Families can talk about...
Ask your teen: What other effects would they suggest for this app?
Remind your teen that some people may be extremely sensitive to special effects like the ones found on this app when they're placed in the context of an everyday world.