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324 votes
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How did they make cars fall apart in old movies?

The 'cab' is hinged round the bottom of the box structure, probably released by Keaton at the appropriate moment, and very likely sprung to assist the demolition. The rest is just balanced on top and ...
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137 votes
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How is this practical and very old scene shot?

I thought this was going to be a long and difficult investigation... However, the answer was right there on IMDB, in the Trivia section The transformation scene was done in much the same way the ...
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116 votes
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Has a major film ever intentionally used live ammunition to film a scene?

Yes, there were some. To name at least one (the earliest I could find proof link about): The Captive (1915) DeMille’s obsession with realism backfired when an extra, Charles Chandler, was shot ...
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82 votes

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

In the 1961 Kurosawa film Throne of Blood, actual archers shot actual arrows at the walls next to the film's main star. Any one of the arrows could have killed or seriously injured him. The process ...
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82 votes

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

The Ames Room, forced perspective, and moving towards the camera. The left side of the room is much larger and farther away than the right side of the room. Take a look at the same illusion here: ...
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78 votes
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Did they torture and kill a monkey during the filming of Andromeda Strain?

Torture is a strong word but it could easily be described as mistreating the creature but it does seem to have been done under the supervision of the ASPCA. In fact...from IMDB apparently from the ...
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65 votes
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Is Yoda made using CGI in the original Star Wars or is it practical effects?

The Yoda in the 1980 Empire Strikes Back and in the 1983 Return of the Jedi was entirely realised using puppetry. Here we see Frank Oz (the chief puppeteer and voice of Yoda for the two movies): And ...
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61 votes

What kind of special effect did Alfred Hitchcock use in this scene for "The Lady Vanishes"?

It's done using a prismatic kaleidoscope filter over the lens, known as a multi-image filter. They were very popular in the 60s & 70s for 'flower power/drugs/music video' type shots, often ...
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  • 45.1k
57 votes

Is lens flare shot organically, or added in post-production?

According to the Business Insider article Why 'Star Trek' Has so Much Lens Flare it was all done in-camera and it was all intentional. "There are so many movies from my childhood that had those ...
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55 votes
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What is this dog really biting in The Thing?

No, the dog definitely didn't chew a hole in a real fence. Update: Word of God answer from Producer Stuart Cohen and John Carpenter!!! John Carpenter: The fence was made out of edible material. ...
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53 votes

How was 1917 filmed as a continuous shot?

Similar techniques were used in Birdman which was also visualised as a single shot, and the opening scene of The Revenant. Usually, if you're looking out for them you can see the wipes they use - ...
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48 votes

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

"Act of Valor" (2012) featured extensive filmography which included actual bullets being fired as well as active-duty SEALs. per: On Active Duty for the Movies (Real Ammo), The New York Times “We’...
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45 votes
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How did they film the walks between the Twin Towers in The Walk?

TL;DR To film the most of action sequences, they designed a 40X60X12 foot corner of the South Tower and it was redressed for the North Tower. They created a model only for the rest of the roofs, the ...
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44 votes
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What do they use for broken glass pieces in movies?

It's not actually glass... Originally, they used a product called "Sugar glass" or "candy glass". Sugar glass (also called candy glass, edible glass, and breakaway glass) is a brittle transparent ...
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44 votes
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How did they make Yogurt so short?

I always thought it was part of the joke that he's obviously walking on his knees. In the DVD commentary, Mel Brooks talks about how difficult it was playing the Yogurt character. The gold-colored ...
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44 votes
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How are tsunamis crashing through cities and wiping out actors filmed?

I'm not sure how they did it exactly. But I can guess how they probably did it: with 3 kinds of shots. The first kind of shot is entirely CGI: The second kind of shot is actors on a controlled set, ...
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36 votes
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How do they film someone being stabbed with a weapon that goes all the way through?

It's done on computers. Sometimes they also use a prop knife, the kind where the blade pops back in when touched. Some Game of Thrones VFX examples here ...
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35 votes
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Time freezes and actors and things can be viewed from different angles. What is this special effect called and how is it made?

They use an array of cameras usually kept in curved setup having object in the middle. While every camera captures images from different angles, final shot is produced by editing frames from different ...
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  • 11.1k
34 votes

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

I was reading about this recently (yes, it's Cracked.com, but it's well sourced). Not only was this not an uncommon way of getting bullet effects, the crazy didn't stop with guns - The Birth Of A ...
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34 votes
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How were the opening credits to Superman created?

A lot of this will be defining terms. Animation Prior to the advent of computer animation, animation meant taking a bunch of still photos that had slight changes from one photo to the next and then ...
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  • 9,099
32 votes

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

In the 1985 Soviet war film, Come and See, live ammunition was apparently used in some scenes. According to the film's Wikipedia article: The 2006 UK DVD sleeve states that the guns in the film ...
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  • 630
31 votes
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How was 1917 filmed as a continuous shot?

Quoting from Wikipedia under filming section. Filming was accomplished with long takes and elaborately choreographed moving camera shots to give the effect of one continuous take. Careful editing ...
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  • 11.1k
30 votes

When were digital effects first used in film or TV?

From Wikipedia: First digital animation in a feature film The first feature film to use digital image processing was the 1973 movie Westworld, a science-fiction film written and directed by novelist ...
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29 votes
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How are surgery scenes shot in TV/Film?

Practical Effects are used some of the time. It's cheaper and easier to hide the body and use a fake double, than it is to use CGI or anything else. From Iron Man: ...
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27 votes
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How did they achieve the Gunslinger's shining eye effect in Westworld?

Is it a kind of contact lens? Is there more information about this (making-of, documentaries, etc.)? Yes, they used mirrored (light reflecting) contact lenses. From this edited version of Shooting ...
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  • 57.2k
26 votes

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

An old impalement illusion used by stage magicians involves wrapping a corset or frame around the body part (such as the neck or torso) which is to be "impaled". The corset contains entry and exit ...
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24 votes
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Horse jumping off the cliff scene from 'The Revenant'

The horse-off-the-cliff scene was created with the help of Industrial Light & Magic per this interview with the film's visual effects supervisor. This clip (which I believe was aired during ...
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23 votes
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Alice growing effect in 1972 "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" - how was it done? It's not green screen

I agree with BlueMoon93 that the illusion of growth is obtained simply by dragging Alice towards the camera (note that her legs and the floor are not visible). However, I think that Ames room was ...
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