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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146 votes
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How do actors stop breathing when playing "dead"?

You hyperventilate right before the take, the same technique as for swimming underwater [not highly recommended underwater, but in air, of course, you can change your mind and breathe again at any ...
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  • 44.3k
124 votes
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How is color determined when colorizing black and white movies?

They don't know. They don't care. It doesn't matter what were the original colors. As the movie was filmed in black and white, the set, the costumes, even the makeup was designed to look good in ...
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  • 1,652
117 votes
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How do they shoot binocular scenes?

As has been mentioned, the binocular "look" is just a mask. It's also worth noting that if you're looking through binoculars properly you will only see one circle.
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  • 1,578
115 votes
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How was this scene shot without hurting Charlie Chaplin?

Well, I have a theory about how this scene might have been filmed, but I have no sources to confirm this as it is a very old movie. This rock can be a fake one, because using a real one will ...
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  • 56.9k
87 votes
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Why do mouse cursors never align with actors' hand movements (or always move perfectly straight)?

The reality is that these images are nearly universally added in post production. Creating a computer environment for a film that the actors can actually interact with is much more time intensive and ...
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  • 26.3k
85 votes
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Why were movies shot on film shot at 24 frames per second?

According to this site: In the early days of film cameras were hand cranked, which caused inconsistencies from movie to movie. Even further still, projection houses would speed up frame rates of ...
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  • 44.7k
83 votes
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How do they film movies that take place in a single season?

Principal photography, where the actors are in front of the camera, usually takes less than 3 months. But principal photography is just one part of producing a movie. The whole process can take a year ...
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  • 23.3k
82 votes
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How do actors make eye contact with CGI characters?

If you talk to actors that do a lot of CGI, the answer is "not very easily". (Ian McKellan famously almost quit filming The Hobbit because most of his work was acting solo, since they had to CGI in ...
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  • 35.1k
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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  • 27.3k
70 votes
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How was the deserted London scene in the movie '28 Days Later' filmed?

Normally, movie producers would obtain permits to shut down roads around city filming locations. However, this is not usually permitted in London (even huge productions like Bond get very limited ...
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  • 10.3k
60 votes
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How was this shot in Contact (1997) really made?

It's mostly a CGI effect with blue screening / masking, motion tracking etc. There's a YouTube explanation by the movie's Cinematographer Don Burgess Also another ...
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  • 128k
58 votes
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How do they make tattoos in movies?

They're actually just glorified 'lick & stick' - thin 'not quite plastic' decals adhered to paper backings, which are wetted with a mixture of water and alcohol and applied to the skin. I imagine ...
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  • 44.3k
55 votes
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Is it really as easy to knock someone out in real life as in the movies?

Disclaimer: Violence is stupid and dangerous. A blow to the skull is often fatal. I wouldn't say it's easy, but there are several sweet spots on the skull that, when hit with sufficient force, is ...
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  • 4,075
54 votes
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Frozen Jack: Actor or Prop?

This was shot inside a set and Jack Nicholson himself posed for the scene. Jack Nicholson posing for his final moment frozen in the snow. This side angle reveals the crude bracing system of wood and ...
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53 votes
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What if a head shaving scene gets messed up?

It takes a couple of minutes to shave a head, so assuming nothing gets messed up when the initial cut with the shaver is made, any mistakes can just be edited around. If there is a significant ...
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  • 2,347
53 votes

What is this type of scene transition called?

It's called an Invisible Wipe, or Invisible Cut. Using an object or person from one scene to cover the entire screen, then as they move from shot another scene is revealed. Of course, this is easy ...
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50 votes
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What mitigation is taken while filming 'raining' scenes

Rain jackets for cameras are available in market. If the rain is artificially created, we just have to focus on the frame we are shooting. We don't need water all over the place, but just within the ...
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49 votes

How are talking scenes in movies/shows filmed?

There are many ways to film dialogue scenes. In reality, what you see on film (unless there are no cuts at all) is a compilation of potentially dozens of takes of on-set film and audio recording, ...
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  • 26.3k
49 votes

How were Opening Titles and End Credits created before Computers?

Usually, if we talk about credits without any movie scene in the background, it was done by using a long sheet of paper or plastic or other material they want with credits written on it. Artists used ...
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  • 56.9k
48 votes

Why is The Mandalorian shot in such a wide aspect ratio?

According to this article: Cinematographers Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS and Barry “Baz” Idoine and showrunner Jon Favreau employ new technologies to frame the Disney Plus Star Wars series. [...] Shot on ...
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  • 44.7k
47 votes
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What is the name of this effect used in Flags of Our Fathers?

It's Vignetting Wikipedia Later, the word came to be used for a photographic portrait which is clear in the center, and fades off at the edges. A similar effect occurs when photographing projected ...
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  • 128k
47 votes
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How was the motorcycle scene in The Matrix Reloaded made?

It was partially CGI. They used a freeway to shoot this scene and of course, a stunt double performed this. It took three months and 1.4 miles long track to shoot this scene. From Telegraph(emphasis ...
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  • 56.9k
46 votes

Why do the toys blink alternately?

A theory: Most of the characters in Toy Story blink their eyes one at a time. This is called "offset blinking" and is usually used in animation to signal an out of place or stupid character. In ...
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  • 44.7k
45 votes
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How did they film Danny tricycle riding through the hotel?

The Shining used the then newly-invented device called a Steadicam to shoot these (and many other) scenes: This film was among the first half-dozen to use the newly developed Steadicam (after the ...
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  • 26.3k
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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  • 56.9k
45 votes

How is clear dialogue recorded in noisy scenes?

Usually with ADR Automated Dialog Replacement (ADR) is the process of re-recording dialogue by the original actor (or a replacement actor) after the filming process to improve audio quality or ...
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  • 128k
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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