Questions tagged [effects]

Artificial visual or mechanical effects introduced into a movie or television show.

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217
votes
1answer
21k views

How did they make cars fall apart in old movies?

A staple of old Buster Keaton/Laurel and Hardy films is the car that falls completely apart, either when closing one of the doors or even when driving, like so: How exactly did they pull these ...
109
votes
6answers
22k views

Has a major film ever intentionally used live ammunition to film a scene?

I was imagining the other day that most war films and scenes are filmed with people faking shooting. Sometimes wars scenes are not even using blank rounds, like in Star Wars. This leads me to wonder ...
86
votes
2answers
13k views

Alice growing effect in 1972 “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” - how was it done? It's not green screen

How was this scaling effect done? My first assumption would have been green screen, but it's clearly not - she's taking on all the light and shadow from the scene ...
63
votes
1answer
14k views

How is this practical and very old scene shot?

Saw a Reddit post talking about this scene from 1937's Sh! The Octopus: It is 82 years old and a great practical effect. How was it shot, though?
55
votes
1answer
10k views

Is this bar slide trick shown on Cheers real or a visual effect?

In the Cheers episode "Endless Slumper" (S01E10)" there are a couple of scenes where Sam (Ted Danson) displays a bar slide trick where he is able to curve the glass around the corner of the bar. The ...
40
votes
1answer
7k views

How did they film the walks between the Twin Towers in The Walk?

The movie The Walk based on the story of 24-year-old French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974. Here Joseph Gordon-Levitt act ...
39
votes
1answer
14k views

What do they use for broken glass pieces in movies?

Most of action movies involve tremendous amounts of explosions and shattered glass. I remember watching Die Hard (1988) and the amount of broken glass made me wonder, what was it made of to keep ...
38
votes
2answers
402k views

How did they make Captain America so tiny and skinny in the first half?

How did they make Chris Evans so tiny and skinny in the first half? He lost weight + green screen all along I suppose? Or is there something more interesting.
38
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a rating of the 3D-ness of a 3D movie?

If things aren't thrown in my face during a 3D movie, I feel somewhat disappointed. I also appreciate the use of 3D to enhance a wide-angle shot, a humorous close-up, give a subtle sense of depth, and ...
37
votes
4answers
55k views

How do they film scenes with the actors driving in a car?

I know long ago they would have the car stationary and use a projector screen to with moving scenery to make it look like the car was moving. It was obviously staged, but good enough. I've seen "...
34
votes
3answers
20k views

How do they film someone being stabbed with a weapon that goes all the way through?

How can you film someone being directly stabbed through any part of the body (especially the head, as seen in Game of Thrones) when the camera has not shifted angle at all?
34
votes
2answers
4k views

How did they make Yogurt so short?

In the marvelous film "Space Balls" Director and Actor Mel Brooks played multiple characters. One of these characters was Yogurt, a poor man's Yoda. How did they make Yogurt so short, compared to Mel ...
33
votes
2answers
5k views

How are the face cuts done when Dexter takes his blood samples of his victims?

Whenever Dexter has his victim on the slab ready to be killed, he cuts them with a surgical knife and takes a blood sample. Obviously the knife is fake and the blood is fake but quite often you will ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this dog really biting in The Thing?

In John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), when the infected dog is transforming and scaring the crap out of the other dogs, one of them jumps up and bites the chain link fence. It happens a couple of ...
31
votes
6answers
4k views

When were digital effects first used in film or TV?

I know Willow used digital effects to handle the "Morph" scenes when the characters transform. That's the first definite "CGI" example I can think of though, as opposed to other special effects ...
31
votes
1answer
6k views

How did they achieve the Gunslinger's shining eye effect in Westworld?

Westworld was released in 1973. Back in time, the movie-making resources were so limited. How did they achieve the Gunslinger's eye shining effect? Is it a kind of contact lens? Is there more ...
27
votes
4answers
10k views

Why do professional green screens look so much better?

Why does the average green screen, such as one on the local news station, or some video on YouTube, leave an outline and is obviously fake, but in some movies these effects look totally real. I was ...
25
votes
2answers
11k views

How are surgery scenes shot in TV/Film?

How are the medically invasive surgery scenes shot in movies or even for television ? House MD has some of the most detailed surgery scenes on television - for example the scene where House himself ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

How were the opening credits to Superman created?

The opening credits sequence for Superman is one of the most famous and recognizable in the history of cinema. How, exactly, was it produced? (I am speaking specifically about the animated, ...
21
votes
3answers
787 views

What weighs toward the decision to ignore the gravity change?

Melancholia is a realistic "what-if" science fiction, set in roughly the time we live in. The whole plot is centered around the concept of a planet approaching Earth. Being what it is, why would they ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

How are tsunamis crashing through cities and wiping out actors filmed?

In the movie The Day After Tomorrow (2004), there is a city (much like a modern day city) and during a natural disaster; there is a Tsunami that crashed through the city, destroyed buildings, killed ...
20
votes
2answers
6k views

Horse jumping off the cliff scene from 'The Revenant'

In the movie The Revenant, when Di Caprio jumps off the cliff while on his horse, the scene looks very realistic. While in the "fight with the bear" scene I could definitely tell that it was done with ...
17
votes
2answers
11k views

Why do soap operas have the soap opera effect?

The soap opera effect occurs when frame interpolation is used. For example, if a movie is shot at 24 frames per second and then shown on a TV screen which is capable of displaying 60 frames per second ...
17
votes
2answers
879 views

How was helicopter scene filmed in Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)?

Followup from Aviation.SE In Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), around 1h 19m, there is scene with helicopter (Hughes MD500) in inverted flight which lands upside down and keep spinning. While flight ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

Zoom actor in while background out? How is this effect called and made?

I don't have a youtube link (I think "The shining" has such a scene), but you all probably know this effect, the actor is zoomed in by the camera while the background zoomed out, probably by zoom in ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

How do they film “flying human” scenes?

I am watching Chronicle (2012) and this question just popped into my mind. What techniques are used for filming flying human scenes? Do they always use chroma keying or are there other techniques?
16
votes
3answers
3k views

How are bullet impacts in concrete walls created?

Recently I watched Full Metal Jacket again, and during its city attack scene I noticed something that I've been wondering about for quite some time now: how are the effects of bullet impacts in ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

How did they film the flat spin in Top Gun?

Did they really throw an F-14 into a flat spin and then have to recover it? Or is that a model shot? It seems (to a complete layperson) like an unthinkably-dangerous thing to do, but the shot looks ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Where did the “dream effect” originate?

When a TV or movie character begins to dream (or daydream), there is a common set of effects used to communicate that to the audience: Whitened screen or edges (a "cloudy" effect) Sometimes a brief ...
14
votes
4answers
17k views

Why the different effects when Sirius Black appears in a fireplace?

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Sirius Black appears in a fireplace to talk to Harry. It looks as if his head was made of embers: In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Walking around someone who is moving in Slow Motion?

In the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" series musical episode, "Once More With Feeling", during the Giles and Buffy fight montage (Song: 'Standing in the Way') there is a scene where Buffy is hitting a ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

How is this shot in Batman made?

In the 1989 movie Batman, the Joker is seen falling and the images make it seem like it was animated. How was this done? I am talking about the images of the Joker himself, which are not photographs ...
14
votes
2answers
606 views

What is the science behind making actors appear different?

Captain America, Lord of The Rings and The Social Network have each used a technique where an actor has either been shrunk down (Captain America & LoTR) or completely replaced by a face (Captain ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How are the face-in-suit segments of Iron Man filmed?

This question deals with the actors in a full-body shot of the suits, however I am wondering how the face-inside-the-suit segments are filmed, for example: Iron Man HUD as seen in The Avengers (2012) ...
13
votes
1answer
12k views

Is there any CGI used in Dunkirk?

Given what I know about Christopher Nolan as a filmmaker, I would expect a heavier emphasis on practical effects. However, even with movies like Fury Road, where practical effects were used heavily, ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How were Hiro's time halting scenes filmed?

In many scenes in Heroes, we witness Hiro Nakamura display his ability to stop time: However, also in these scenes, we witness him interact with the scene, whether it be interacting with stopped ...
13
votes
1answer
429 views

How is open head of Commander Data done?

Data has his head open several times, for example here: Given the time of creation of Star Trek - Next Generation series, I don't assume this would be done with CGI, also his head doesn't seem to be ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Time freezes and actors and things can be viewed from different angles. What is this special effect called and how is it made? [duplicate]

The music video for Avicii’s “Lonely Together” shows an effect previously seen in movies like “The Matrix”. What is it is called and how is it made?
12
votes
5answers
7k views

How did they film the gun spinning scene?

In "End Times" (Season 4 Episode 12) of Breaking Bad, there is a scene of Walt sitting near the pool. He places his gun on a table and spins it. The gun ends up pointing at him. He spins it again, and ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How was the electromagnet scene filmed?

In the first episode of season 5 of Breaking Bad, a large electromagnet is rigged up in a truck, and placed next to a building. The camera shows the contents of the building flying across the room ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the original lightsaber prop work?

The original (non-animated) lightsaber was apparently a wooden slat that could rotate covered with a reflective tape: What kind of reflective tape are we talking about here? The light is so intense ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

How did they shoot the Las Vegas scene in “Now You See Me”?

How did they shoot the Las Vegas MGM Grand scene in "Now You See Me" (2013)? At the beginning of the Las Vegas scene there is a very large auditorium with a rotunda stage and the camera's viewpoint ...
12
votes
1answer
550 views

How is the “bullets whizzing through water” effect created?

We've all seen action sequences in which someone dives into the water to avoid being shot, and bullets whiz past them while they swim. I just watched the scene above from XXX: State of the Union, and ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How did they make the shimmering colours when Mork calls Orson?

At the end of every episode of Mork & Mindy, the alien visitor Mork calls his boss Orson to give a report. The show depicts the call by having Mork chant, "Mork calling Orson. Come in, Orson!" ...
11
votes
2answers
339 views

Stroboscopic effects in “Love Actually”

Recently I was rewatching Love Actually in TV and before it started a warning appeared: This movie contains stroboscopic effects. Since you don't often see this kind of warning before a movie it ...
11
votes
3answers
296 views

Why did Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch intros use blue screens?

Both the intro to The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island use blue screens when showing the character's faces, yet in both cases there were no effects projected behind them. Is it pure coincidence, or ...
11
votes
1answer
995 views

How did they achieve the crack in the ice scene?

In 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' there is an ice scene around the beginning of the film where the two main characters lay down on the ice. Screen left there is a unique and very beautiful '...
11
votes
3answers
980 views

Would special effects for early movie patrons seem real?

When I watched The Walking Dead on my 1080i HDTV, the special effects looked seamless. In other words, I knew what I was watching was fake, but it was hard to tell. When I upgraded to a 1080p HDTV,...
10
votes
2answers
23k views

How did they film Patsey being whipped?

A Sequence in 12 Years A Slave shows Patsey, a plantation worker, being tied to a pole and whipped. The shot is horrifying, and shows her flesh being torn and rendered open by the whip as it makes ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

What software was used to make the LEGO Movie?

So I've just seen The LEGO Movie and I was amazed at the intricate details of all the minifigures and sets. I was wondering if anyone knows what software was used to create the film. Animal Logic, ...