At around minute 57 to 59, Morpheus explains to Neo that every citizen in the Matrix can become an agent like agent Smith, while everything else around them is frozen. How are these kind of scenes recorded/edited?

  • Green screen. With people-shaped cutout panels in front of the actors so that it looks like they're walking behind people.
    – user7812
    May 14, 2016 at 23:53
  • 4
    everyone else held really really still
    – KutuluMike
    May 15, 2016 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


Combination of CGI crowd, and actual extras holding still. Nothing complex.

Once they hold still, they can use movie editing to freeze some parts of the screen. You would mask them out, only tracking changes in the actors you want.

In other films, just keeping still is common. Dead people are just actors or extras not moving. You can some times still see them breathing.

  • 1
    Is the video supposed to be related to the answer? May 16, 2016 at 3:11
  • @todd it showed the behind the scenes for the shot. You see the woman in red and the few extras that form the crowd. And that it's not a green screen.
    – cde
    May 16, 2016 at 3:12
  • 3
    The video I just watched was 100% a funny anecdote about one of the crew wrecking his car because he was distracted by the actress in costume and was 0% about shooting the scene. There's nothing about people holding still. May 16, 2016 at 3:16
  • @todd true. Put it on mute and look at the scene being shot. If you want me to replace it with a screen shot.
    – cde
    May 16, 2016 at 3:25
  • 1
    And that's 46 seconds of my life I'm never getting back. Sep 16, 2017 at 8:58

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