Problem about making special effects

Hey guys, I wanna to make some special effects which may be very tough to make.And now I have been stuck in two visual effects.

1.A light beam come from the surface of the earth and go upward across the cloud, then the cloud turns up a hole.
I have a method to make this effect but I’m not sure it is the best.I think I can make two effect:Light,Cloud,when Light effect move upward to the cloud, the cloud in the middle break up.

2.A trail when a man acrossing cloud/smoke.
I think I can use beam but I guess it wouldn’t have good looking.