In watching House of Lies two notable things for me are the parts where Don Cheadle's character breaks the fourth wall (a la Spacey in the similarly named House of Cards) and the freeze frame effect.

If you're not familiar with it here's a short clip on YT:

How is this done? What's puzzling me is how he can walk through the scene and sometimes even interact with people and objects that are frozen

1 Answer 1


It's done using a green screen, with LOTS of shots overlaid on top of one another. Here's an awesome, short example, from DirecTV, showing how they did this for a commercial featuring a fireman falling through a roof (with a man walking around the "frozen" scene):

  • 1
    Fascinating example and a worthy answer. Thanks very much!
    – noonand
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 13:39
  • But how do they sync up the beginning and end of the shot, where the other actors and the rest of the scene resume? Is the entire background, including the other characters, part of the green screen?
    – user15995
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 20:07
  • By using a motion-controlled camera. It can record the motion in one take and play back the motion for a later take. (The entire camera rig will move left/right, up/down, and forward/back during playback of the motion.) It can also save the motion to a computer file which can be used with the CG elements. Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 19:31

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