Using Light Painting Effects To Recreate the Ghostbusters Proton Streams

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When you find yourself in times of trouble, always remember: Don't cross the streams. Egon's ghostbusting words of wisdom still hold true today. Joey Shanks at PBS Digital Studios knows that. But he's risked total protonic reversal to show us how to recreate the glowing effects of everyone's favorite Slimer-busting backpacks using simple light painting techniques.

Sparks says the original film also used in-camera techniques combined with animation, lens flares, and flashes to make the blue and orange beams come to life (which wasn't enough to beat out Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom for a visual effects Oscar… tough year). For this little DIY he gathered up a small collection of cheapie lights—primarily flashlights and keychain lights—set them up on lengths of fishing line in a darkened room and let 'em go, manually adding a little wobble to the strands during the four second exposure.

He also purchased a not-inexpensive Neutrino Wand, which is totally not required unless you want to get real real.

Is this the oldest trick in the book? Yeah, maybe. People are doing lots of cool stuff with light paintings lately, but this nicely timed tribute—while Ghostbusters is back in theaters for its 30th anniversary—is a goodun. Plus, it cannot be denied: Bustin' makes you feel good.