Topic: VFX Hacks
Conversation starter: what is something you've done once where you say, "There's no way in hell this should work," but then it does? Alternatively, what do you do on a regular basis that has no right to work but does well enough that you keep coming back to it?
While color correction isn't exactly "visual effects", prior to good masking tools being available in Premiere I'd use the Circle effect for color correction. Is the center of the frame (people at the head table giving a toast) well exposed but the rest (the assembled guests cheering at something funny/embarrassing) really dark? Circle, color to white, invert circle, feather the edge and keep playing with transfer modes and opacity until the outside of the frame has the same exposure as the inside.
Recently I also got fire wall stock footage, with more elements for falling embers, for the end of a video for a client; when the client nixed the fire and wanted snow instead I just monochromed the embers and added a few more layers of it.