Questions tagged [film-techniques]

Questions about styles used through films and shows.

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219
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 ...
209
votes
6answers
105k views

How do they film the mirror scenes in movies?

It always makes me wonder how do they place the cameras and crew members while filming a scene which is opposite to a reflecting object, such as mirror. Because, when filming the reflected objects we ...
109
votes
6answers
43k views

How do actors stop breathing when playing “dead”?

I saw many movies when the actor/actress (in the movie) dies. In some movies you can tell that the picture is paused when it is on the dead character. But in other movies the actor is laying still ...
104
votes
6answers
221k views

Why is the bride's name beeped in Kill Bill Vol 1?

In the movie Kill Bill Vol.1, whenever someone mentions the bride by her name Beatrix Kiddo Her name is censored with a beep. Is this explained somewhere in the movie? Or is it just a signature ...
97
votes
9answers
21k views

How was this scene shot without hurting Charlie Chaplin?

In a scene from City Lights (1931), a man tries to commit suicide before Charlie Chaplin comes and saves him. But the man accidentally ties a rope to Chaplin's neck and throws the rock into the water ...
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 ...
71
votes
4answers
18k views

How is color determined when colorizing black and white movies?

In black and white movies that have been remastered to have color, how do they know what colors are what?
70
votes
6answers
5k views

Why all the fancy technology in most movies?

In most of the movies and TV-series I have watched, whenever there is some kind of "technology" involved (say, like a tracking device or hacking something important), there is a lot of unnecessary, ...
67
votes
1answer
35k views

What do actors actually inhale when their characters snort cocaine or smoke crack?

While film scenes where an actor injects something into his/her arm can perhaps be faked with edits and maybe prosthetics, how do actors manage to snort cocaine or smoke crack? Are there approved safe ...
64
votes
7answers
96k views

What techniques are used by directors to make an actor cry?

I have always wondered what techniques directors use to get amateur actors, especially young ones, to cry. How can someone surrounded with so many film crew and cameras can concentrate enough and feel ...
62
votes
10answers
42k views

Is it really as easy to knock someone out in real life as in the movies?

As a child I watched (with my father) a boxing match which lasted 12 rounds. At the end neither fighter resembled his previous pretty self, but nobody got knocked out either. I just watched Terra ...
61
votes
5answers
12k views

Why do mouse cursors never align with actors' hand movements (or always move perfectly straight)?

Most of the time when you see a computer screen in a film the cursor always moves in a perfectly straight line. Sometimes you can even see actors moving the mouse, but it would in no way align with ...
59
votes
1answer
21k views

How was this shot in Contact (1997) really made? [duplicate]

There was this tricky mirror scene in Contact The effect is: the camera is moving backwards, always facing a character running towards something and keeping the same distance from that character (...
58
votes
4answers
15k views

Why were movies shot on film shot at 24 frames per second?

Title says it all! Nowadays, everything is digital, frame rates vary and are displayed properly by media playback devices depending on need, requirement or desire. But back before quality digital ...
57
votes
2answers
20k views

How was the deserted London scene in the movie '28 Days Later' filmed?

I saw this question about real-world filming locations and it reminded me of an excellent zombie movie I saw few years ago called '28 Days Later'. In this movie, on waking up the protagonist finds ...
54
votes
3answers
13k views

How do actors make eye contact with CGI characters?

In movies like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), how do actors make eye contact with CGI characters?
54
votes
3answers
10k views

What if a head shaving scene gets messed up?

In movies there is sometimes a head shaving seen, often signifying a drastic change in a person. For example when Lex Luthor gets his head shaven in Superman Vs. Batman or this scene in 50/50. I was ...
53
votes
3answers
289k views

Do the actors really go nude in the shooting of the movies?

I often wonder if actors really go nude for certain scenes in films. I am not talking about those movies where we can see the sexual body-parts or genitals of the actors/actresses, but instead less ...
49
votes
4answers
39k views

Kill Bill colour changes to Black and White

In the movie Kill Bill, why does the colour keep shifting from standard colour to black and white? Is it to keep the gross levels down?
49
votes
2answers
21k views

Frozen Jack: Actor or Prop?

At the end of the film The Shining, when Jack Torrance has frozen to death, was this shot accomplished by putting make-up on Jack Nicholson or by using a prop body with a face cast in his likeness? I ...
48
votes
2answers
14k views

How do they film movies that take place in a single season?

Usually it takes more than a year to film a good movie. Some movies take place in only one season. For example, Home Alone takes place in winter. How do they manage to film a two-hour movie in three ...
47
votes
6answers
17k views

How do they make tattoos in movies?

I've recently watched Point Break, and I was astonished by the number of tattoos worn by the principal characters, as well their thickness... How do they manage to do this? But in general, what ...
45
votes
2answers
12k views

How were Opening Titles and End Credits created before Computers?

I've always wondered how Opening Titles and End Credits in the movies were created before Computers existed?
43
votes
4answers
13k views

How do they shoot binocular scenes?

How do they shoot binocular scenes? Do they put two cameras in binoculars? See this binocular vision from Ronin (1998):
43
votes
7answers
11k views

How can weightlessness be simulated on film?

How can the weightlessness of space be realistically simulated on film? Does it require CG or can a convincing simulation be achieved using wire fu and editing? (I'm happy to hear of good examples of ...
42
votes
4answers
10k views

Why do the toys blink alternately?

This happens quite often in the first Toy Story film, not so much in the second (and haven't seen the third yet) where the toys blink one eye after the other instead of at the same time. Is there ...
41
votes
3answers
8k views

What exactly is 70mm print and why does anyone care?

There has been a bit of controversy lately over the release of Tarantino's Hateful Eight movie. As I understand it, the movie was scheduled to play in a particular theater in Los Angeles that plays ...
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
2answers
7k views

What mitigation is taken while filming 'raining' scenes

I understand that most rain scenes are artificially produced. But both filming in a studio and outdoors, there is an incredible amount of valuable electronics. How is filming equipment kept 'dry', ...
39
votes
3answers
18k views

How do they film minors smoking?

Many movies depict children and minors (and non smoking actors) actively smoking a cigarette and blowing actual smoke. How is that done?
38
votes
3answers
7k views

What is this type of scene transition called?

Does anyone know the name of the film technique where multiple objects fall into the view of the camera which is pointing up and cover up the whole shot? Specific example is in this clip A Joy Story -...
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
9k views

Why are dolls, teddy bears, etc. used as horror objects in horror films?

In many horror films, toys such as dolls, teddy bears, and puzzle boxes are used as objects which the spirits/ghosts use to scare people. Some examples would be Annabelle, the crooked man musical box ...
36
votes
2answers
8k views

How do they shoot flaming human scenes?

This scene was found in Billy Madison (1995). How do they shoot dangerous stunt scenes?
36
votes
3answers
24k views

How is dialog between two people filmed?

I was always wondering how dialog between two people is filmed. Suppose there are two people talking. The screen is switching between faces of the characters while they talk. How it is done in reality?...
36
votes
1answer
5k views

Are modern black & white movies shot in colour?

A few movies are still released in black & white, largely for artistic reasons. Are such movies shot in colour, and then converted to black & white for release? Or are they usually filmed in ...
35
votes
3answers
9k views

How was the motorcycle scene in The Matrix Reloaded made?

How did they made this scene? We can see that Trinity is driving the bike in opposite direction with high speed and closely passing other vehicles. Is it fully CGI made?
34
votes
3answers
21k 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?
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 ...
33
votes
3answers
23k views

How did they create the hole in Robert Downey Jr.'s chest for the Iron Man movie?

Don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but I'm wondering how they created the hole in Robert Downey Jr.'s chest so they can put the reactor there? Here is the video "Iron Man: Behind the ...
33
votes
1answer
10k views

How did Mongo “punch” the horse?

One of the most iconic and memorable scenes from Blazing Saddles is the scene in which Mongo punches a horse after the horse's owner informs him that he cannot park his animal in a particular area. ...
32
votes
1answer
9k views

How are talking scenes in movies/shows filmed? [duplicate]

So, I've been curious about this (since taking a class dealing with filming and editing I've been taking more notice of good/bad shots and just overall more curious about film techniques) when two or ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the name of this effect used in Flags of Our Fathers?

In this scene from Flags of Our Fathers, the top and bottom parts of the image are a little darker when compared to the middle portion of the scene. (I marked it with yellow lines) What is the name ...
31
votes
3answers
32k views

Is this mask really possible?

Sometimes we see a mask is used by an actor of a film by which he drastically changes his face. I was under the impression that only after plastic surgery one can change his face. I stumbled upon this ...
31
votes
1answer
7k views

How did they film Danny tricycle riding through the hotel?

I am curious how the camera managed to maintain such a close distance to Danny riding his tricycle through the hotel in The Shining. The camera seems to be positioned on some wheeled cart that is ...
31
votes
3answers
7k views

How are head shots and deep throat gashes filmed?

I was watching a movie the other night and the main character slits the throat of another person. The camera stayed on the victim the whole time this happened. I'm wondering how this is achieved. ...
31
votes
4answers
15k views

First use of on-screen text messages, like in Sherlock and House of Cards

The BBC's Sherlock (July 2010-) uses a novel visual trick to show the contents of an SMS message directly on the television screen, so we can all read it without having to look at a dull phone screen. ...
30
votes
3answers
8k views

Does 1957's 12 Angry Men consist of only one cut?

Does 12 Angry Men consist of only one cut? Apart from maybe an opening scene and closing scene, when they are in the room, I don't see any cuts. If that is so, does it mean when some actor makes a ...
30
votes
8answers
20k views

What is the longest, single take, tracking shot in cinema/TV?

In episode four of True Detective, there was a 6-minute long, single take, tracking shot sequence. What is the longest, scripted, single take (no cuts) sequence in movies / television? I am not ...
30
votes
6answers
6k views

Why do films have more cuts than they did 20 years ago?

The "20 years" is an arbitrary figure but I have noticed that films tend to have way more cuts than they did in earlier days of film making. Sometimes there will be a conversation in the room and ...