Behind-The-Scenes Photos Which Reveal The MagicBy John P.
Netflix and chill has taken over the world these days. But who’s complaining? It’s not the worst way to unwind on a weeknight, by a long shot! After a trance of movie magic, people sometimes wonder how those Hollywood folks make it all so believable. What’s going on behind the scenes, and off the screens?
Escape From Reality
CGI is now used for the latest 3D graphics for characters, backgrounds, and special effects in films and TV. And it’s elevated the whole game! Technology gets even better every day, but how did the studios manage before?
There was a time when explosions on screen were real, of course. Some of the techniques were pretty creative, and surprising! And sometimes, it was just the relationships between actors that made the scripts come alive. Can any of that compete with the computer-generated worlds of today?
Next, the most incredible behind-the-scenes moments in Hollywood history!
Back To The Future (1985)
A classic, like no other. Back To The Future brought fans a totally new time machine concept, easy as retrofitting a DeLorean with a flux capacitor.The car only required 1.21 gigawatts of power to travel 88 mph, and then, voila — time travel.
Marty wanted to travel back in time, but realized he had to get out, somehow. This required him to find his teenage parents and make them fall in love. He had to recreate his own existence to return to the present! How did the studio create this essential story prop, behind the scenes?
Honey, I Shrunk The DeLorean!
In real life, of course, the car had none of these novel features. The technology didn’t exist in the 1980’s, and certainly doesn’t today! Universal Studios put its special effects department to work, and they found an alternative solution.
The team created three different DeLorean time machines for the film: Different sizes, for different scenes! For the big train escape, a teeny version and a model train were combined. But the larger model, known as the Hero car, was used for most of the movie. Today, that vehicle is displayed at the LA Petersen Automotive Museum!
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Marie Antoinette was the queen of France before the French Revolution. A director with a hipster flair, Sofia Coppola knew that she wanted to show audiences a very modern version of this tale.
Could this be done with a young royal remembered for misunderstanding the plight of the starving? Was that even really true, about the duchess? Clearly, this challenge was ready made for the beautiful Kirsten Dunst! The film used an indie soundtrack juxtaposed with the opulent court at Versailles, and audiences wondered: What was it like, working with all those wigs and corsets?
Let Them Listen To iTunes
Although she was draped in exquisite gowns and surrounded by old scenery, Kirsten still found the time to unwind with costar Jason Schwartzman. In fact, no one else on set would be better for a playlist session in between takes.
Jason was the drummer and a songwriter for Phantom Planet before taking on this powdery, wiggy role. He left the gig for series of independent movie roles, but music was still a big love. Occasionally, he returns to it: Recently, he played the drums for the band Phoenix when they did a Beach Boys cover for a Bill Murray Netflix special!
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Many claim to love horror films, but few can handle the terror of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Very few are quite as frightening, and it’s all because of Freddy Kruger!
In the movie, a young gal realizes she has to stay awake to avoid that clawed killer. After all, he is butchering her pals one by one — in their dreams! With burned skin and a horrifying glare, audiences shrieked in theaters. But was working on set quite as scary for the real life actors?
Best Friend Freddy
Freddy was played by actor Robert Englund, and he differed significantly from his character. For one thing, no visible claws. But more importantly, his personality was a ray of sunshine!
When the director called cut, all screams disappeared. Many people who worked with Robert actually loved him off the clock. Makeup artists who did the complicated Krueger makeup attested that the actor was so friendly and talkative that it made the lengthy process more challenging. The entire cast loved hanging out with Robert!
Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)
The world of Harry Potter was full of potions and spells, in between some very complicated relationships. In the books and movies, Dumbledore vs. Lord Voldemort represented good vs. evil. And it was quite a contrast!
Voldemort appeared in person and in flashbacks, and he was always menacing and mean. Despite being a mudblood himself, he still demanded pure-blood dominance throughout the wizarding world. Who exactly played the leader of the Death Eaters? Surely, a sinister fellow!
Actually, actors do have the ability to pretend to be someone they are not. In this case, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes were both doing just that!
Two brilliant actors having a great conversation was nothing surprising on set. Fans should know that although Lord Voldemort wanted to kill Dumbledore, that work was left at the office. Behind the scenes, no one was casting any death spells. Just great chat, between British chaps navigating Hollywood!
The Godzilla franchise has been one of the longest series of films, with an amazing 33 to date! The concept was launched back in 1954, first as a prehistoric monster who stomps around and destroys all buildings in his quake.
Allegedly, Godzilla was a transitional creature between water reptile and land animal. He looked more a like a dinosaur, possibly an evil stegosaurus, but fans of the original movie didn’t mind. What kind of special effects were really available in 1950’s Hollywood, anyway?
The Real Godzilla
As it turns out, things were decidedly low-tech, back then. Haruo Nakajima was one of the two actors who played Godzilla. But he was much shorter in real life, at 1.68 m. That’s only five foot five!
Wearing his Godzilla legs, he just walked around a really tiny set. Surprise! This trick worked for decades: Haruo starred in 12 consecutive films in this role. He enjoyed those dino dollars starting form the original Godzilla in 1954 until Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972. Not bad, for a job without lines!
Ghostbusters is just one of those classics. It even had a catchy song! While the recent remake with ladies did okay at the box office, the original was in a league of its own.
To review: When Peter, Raymond, and Egon lose their gigs as parapsychologists, they decide start a service called Ghostbusters to fight the scourge of evil phantoms lurking in NYC. Fans remember the enormous Marshmallow Man walking around the city, more than any other ghoul in the film. How did they achieve this impressive affect, in real life?
Puffy is as Puffy Does
Today, these simply effects would be no big deal. But at the time, there were a lot of challenges with so many different types of ghosts. Remember, this was before CGI!
Many were created using puppets and optically composited into the scenes. But for big Marshmallow, he was actually just a guy in a suit. Sounds primitive, perhaps. But who could really tell? Marshmallow Man was surrounded by toy cars on a tiny-scaled set for his big NYC invasion, and viewers were none the wiser!
The Shining (1989)
They were unforgettable. “Come and play with us, Danny, forever, and ever, and ever,” they said. Twins from hell, The Shining wouldn’t have been the same without them.
Stephen King bestselling scary book became the very scary 1989 film, and it’s still regarded as one of the top influential horror movies of all time. And for good reason, according to just about everyone. But who were the young actresses that made it as creepy as it was? Were their colleagues terrified on set, every day?
It turns out they are just the Burns sisters. Perfectly normal identical twins, in fact! In the books, the characters were sisters separated by 2 years, but the real actresses were the same age. The director loved it!
Once the cameras stopped rolling, these two adorable gals charmed and won the hearts of everyone from the cast to crew backstage. And it was loads of fun! They explained: “We saw people in scary makeup, but it always felt more like we were at an elaborate fancy dress party…It just wasn’t that freaky.” Thank goodness, it was all acting!
Yet again, a freaky Stephen King project. What is with this guy, anyway? With his 1986 novel “It” and the character Pennywise, he single-handedly managed to turn clowns into the scariest creatures in horror history!
Pennywise was first portrayed by Tim Curry in the 1990 television adaptation, always excellent at playing really creepy guys. The clown saw a recent revival in 2017 with a new film, and seems to really linger to the public mind. How did the costume crew make him so horribly unforgettable?
Have A Balloon?
Tim Curry said that his transformation took three hours in the make up chair! While that may seem like a lot, the chilling effect was proportionate.
According to the makeup artist, “the first five days of shooting there wasn’t a day when the face was quite the same, because tiny little things evolved, like the shape of the mouth. And the eyebrows are actually the hardest thing to really nail down.” Eventually, they did. And clowns have never been the same!
Lord of the Rings (2001–2003)
Set in make believe world of Middle-earth, the LOTR films taught audiences a lot about hobbits. And elves, and trolls!
On that quest to destroy the Ring, a lot of scenery flew by. In real life, director Peter Jackson has to find a place for filming over a long period of time that really reflected the books. An easy task it was never going to be! Where did the cast hang out, for almost three years of their lives, on planet Earth?
Shortcut To Mordor
Principal filming took place min one very remote country: New Zealand, where there are more sheep than humans! Many locations were used in national parks and conservation areas. And they weren’t all easy to reach!
Over 150 different locations were a part of this 10 hour movie series. Sometimes, helicopters had to be used to reach the most beautiful spots! Unfortunately, there was no simple way to get to Mount Doom. But it was all worth it, with 17 Oscars combined for all three!
Still an Oscar record holder to this day, James Cameron’s Titanic was a pretty big deal when it came out. The ship that sank really got a new life in 1997, and top quality acting was only part of the story.
Yes, everyone bonded with Rose. Her heart will go on, forever in movie history. But that took a look of skill! how did actress Kate Winslet really accomplish falling off a giant ship, and live to tell the tale? During the real event, that certainly wasn’t the case. Surely, a little Hollywood magic closed the gap!
Jump, Jump Around
The answer is, it took teamwork. With everyone was lined up to ensure safety, crash mats and an emergency crew were on standby so there were no real plummeting-to-her-death moments. Thankfully, so!
Seeing the reality behind the scenes might take some of the magic away, but Kate Winslet’s acting was more than enough to make the movie a legend. Reportedly, Claire Danes turned down the iconic role, back in the day. But it’s good that she did! Fans agree: No one could have dangled quite like Kate.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
C-3PO understood more than anyone that hanging out with Jedis could be exhausting. But luckily, he was a machine!
Luke Skywalker was a cocky pilot at the beginning of the series, and maybe he needed a droid to balance him out. Enter C-3PO, in all his golden glory. Film goers love him, to this day! But how did the special effects crew even create this character, way back in the 70’s?
Sip It Good
Anthony Daniels is the actor who played the polite robot, as longtime fans may already know. His original costume was roughened so the metal would not reflect too much light. Could be distracting, otherwise!
It was all about that droid dialogue. Since the 1977 premiere, the actor has lent his signature voice to the Disneyland ride Star Tours and various promotional materials for attraction. When Star Tours opened at Disneyland Paris, he recorded C-3PO line in French! Not a bad gig, for a tin-man from Tatooine.
Inception could not have been a bigger deal, back in 2010. The combination of science fiction and action inside of layers of lucid dreams was confusing. But it was also intriguing!
Director Christopher Nolan knew he wanted to reveal the subconscious of his characters, very visually. With a generous studio budget of $160 million, there were a lot of modern options. Would he take the easy the easy way out, and tell the computer guys to animate everything?
Only Half Fake
Au contraire, at least for the dream sequences. Christopher Nolan opted for little computer-generation, using practical effects where he could. What was the method behind the madness?
According to the director: “It’s always very important to me to do as much as possible in-camera, and then, if necessary, computer graphics are very useful to build on or enhance what you have achieved physically.” With careful planning, his ideal vision was achieved: Sets with strange angles were combined with CGI to create mind-bending scenes!
The Jungle Book (2016)
The Jungle Book has had its fair share of attention, to say the least. Originally published in 1894 by Rudyard Kipling, the tale has become nothing but legendary. An orphaned boy and talking animals in an Indian jungle? Yes, please!
Audiences enjoyed an animated Disney masterpiece for decades before a live action version was made in the 1990’s. But again, years passed. And it was time for an update in the new millennium! In 2016, the voices included Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, and even Christopher Walken. There were more than a few new visual tricks, too. Were they new and improved?
Shere Khan Reboot
Nearly 70 differently species native to India were included in the movie. But it was all wild effects: Characters came to life entirely through computer animation. Combining real animal movement and real actor mannerisms, the characters were made to believably speak!
Visual effects supervisor Keith Miller explained: “It was important for Jon to see Christopher Walken in the creature. So we took some of the distinctive Walken facial features—iconic lines, wrinkles and folds—and integrated them into the animated character.” Audiences agreed, that monkey did seem a lot like Christopher!
Forrest Gump (1994)
Millions agree: Forrest Gump might just be the perfect movie. The unique comedy-drama is almost hard to categorize in a genre, and audiences still laugh and cry when they revisit this classic today. And for good reason!
Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, and Sally Field all played a part in making this movie as magical as it was. Their acting was second to none! But some parts of the story could not be acted out. Special effects were needed, too! For example, how did the team make those Vietnam war injuries seem so real — without hurting a soul?
Lieutenant Dan’s Legs
For Lieutenant Dan Taylor, Vietnam meant permanent disability. When the character was scripted to lose both of his legs, studio techs got right to work. How did they achieve the impressive result, way back in the 90’s?
Early CGI, in fact! The removal of Gary Sinise’s on screen legs was achieved by covering them in blue fabric. The animation team was able to delete all of the blue, and audiences were none the wiser! Among many other prizes, Forrest Gump won Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing at the Oscars. It’s not hard to see why!
Independence Day (1996)
90’s audiences thoroughly enjoyed a series of epic blockbusters, and Independence Day was no exception. When it hit theaters everywhere, an alien takeover over of America suddenly seemed all too real!
The large-scale disaster movie was mostly filmed in New York City, thought residents did not actually experience any urban warfare. That was all on screen, due to a new crop of special effects. But things did get blown up, in reality. How did they destroy the White House, anyway?
Aliens Kind of Arrive
Because Independence Day was made just before CGI became a norm in Hollywood, the crew used other tried but true expert techniques to achieve the same effect.
Specialists created miniatures of different landmarks, and then began igniting things! Building detailed, state of the art sets to simply destroy them is just part of the biz, sometimes. And to create buzz for the movie, film journalists were invited to watch models get destroyed. Seems to have worked, with more than $800 million grossed!
The Ten Commandments (1956)
The Ten Commandments has been going strong since 1956. Literally, for generations! It’s on network TV every Easter Sunday in the United States, that special time slot when millions enjoy the Exodus in technicolor.
In the biblical story, there are all sorts of wacky events that might be hard to depict on screen without a computer. But even half a century ago, Hollywood found a way to be creative. For example: Parting the sea, tanks were filled with water and jello. The overflow looked much more intense, that way! Outside of California, where did all these tricks take place?
Middle East Meets West
While much of the movie was filmed in Hollywood and footage from Egypt was used, believe it or not, the film crew really did travel to Egypt to shoot some scenes. Yes, the famous Exodus, Sinai, and Red Sea sequences!
But those California foreigners had to get permission, first! When they asked the Egyptian authorities to film there, they were surprised to learn that locals loved the director. Many had seen The Crusades in 1935, and they liked his take. They explained: “You treated us (Arabs in the movie) so well, you may do anything here you want.” Surprising, but true!
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is not quite like any other movie of the time, or any since! Combining animation with live action, that snappy script really came to life in a way audiences had never seen before.
Reports say that Eddie Murphy turned down the gig at the time, missing the magic of the concept. He has since stated he regrets it! The film brought fans Jessica Rabbit and grossed $329.8 million globally. No complaints! Only curiosity remains about how it really all came together. What was the technical strategy, back in 1988?
As it turns out: A little bit of this, a little bit of that. All the animation was accomplished using cels and something called optical compositing. Yes, there was a world before CGI!
Layout artists were shown black-and-white maps of the live scenes, and they placed their old-fashioned animation paper right on top. They drew the characters in line with the real footage, plus multiple processes to make the characters seem 3-D. Combined, the results were one of a kind!
No one had an easy time falling asleep after watching Halloween with Michael Myers! Truly a frightening character, he stalked babysitters and left theater audiences on the edge of their seats. Yikes!
The story goes: On a cold Halloween night, 6 year old Michael murdered his teen sister, Judith. He was locked away for 15 years, but escaped during a prison transfer! The mayhem began from there, and no blood or guts were spared. But behind the scenes, did the bad vibes disappear in daylight?
Nicholas Castle is a perfectly normal screenwriter, director and actor. But way back in 1978, he played this iconic role! How did he get mixed up in the madness?
As it turns out, Halloween was directed by a USC classmate. Lucky Nick! Director John Carpenter asked him to be a part of the experience, for which he was paid $25 per day. Not a big paycheck, but he did his best to portray pure evil on screen. In real life, of course, he was just a recent film grad!
The Matrix (1999)
Just about everyone remembers the iconic movie Matrix where Neo realizes that the world he lives in is actually dominated by machines.
That starts a wild and crazy action-packed ride!
Who’s Face Is It Anyway?
Probably the most essential character in the film is Hugo Weaving who is an agent that can duplicate himself in order to take over other agents.
This picture shows how detailed the process was to reproduce the exact real looking masks. That’s like really super cool!
Kill Bill (2003)
Uma Thurman played Quentin Tarantino’s vengeful bride in Kill Bill who wanted to destroy everyone she felt betrayed her. She had one heck of a long list of people to exact her revenge on.
They were all fellow assassins and one, in particular, was O-Ren Ishi, the deadly leader of the Crazy 88, played by Lucy Liu.
Time To Kill Bill
When the cameras were rolling, these two actors were the worst of enemies.
When the cameras stopped rolling, behind the scenes, they were the best of buddies.
The 1959 mega film Ben-Hur starred Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd. Modern audiences may have forgotten it, but it was a pretty big deal at the time. Especially the action scenes!
To refresh, the movie was all about two characters who were childhood friends — but then, they chose two different paths in their beliefs and became enemies! A good premise for a film, for sure. And it had some epic scenes, like the most famous chariot race between Judah Ben-Hur and Messala. An excellent drama with some pretty sweet battles, but was any of it true?
Buddy on Bikes
In terms of the rivalry, not at all. Off screen, these two mega actors did not pick up chariot racing in an event to wipe each other out. Surprise, surprise!
But they sure made it believable, resulting 12 Oscar nominations and 11 wins! This was unprecedented at the time, and it even competed with films like Gone With the Wind at the box office. Ben-Hur was the highest-grossing movie of 1959, and Charlton and Stephen were able to enjoy all the credit as friends!
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardian of the Galaxy is the MCU film that developed an enormous following with great reactions, hysterical dialog, awesome 80’s soundtrack, and without a doubt an amazing cast!
That said, when the cast is not saving the galaxy, they are entertaining themselves in many different ways.
A Family Rest
Clearly, Kurt Russel who portrayed Ego is in dire need of a really good nap!
Also, aliens, super-heroes, and half-gods are extremely addictive to audiences!
Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Maybe in the real world, British actor Tom Hardy might just be a complete heart-throb, but in Dark Knight Rises, his character is anything but appealing!
As Bane, in the third film of the Dark Knight Batman trilogy, he is one very creepy villain with his spooky mask and insidious voice. This is one really disturbing character!
Even though the characters Batman and Bane are arch enemies in the film, this shot shows that Christian Bale and Tom Hardy are having a really good time between shoots!
Hopefully, Hardy returned to his normal voice or if he didn’t, maybe that brought on the laughter!
Jurassic Park (1993)
As we are on a roll with famous franchises, let’s not overlook the blockbuster films, Jurassic Park! As time has moved on, these films have continually improved thanks to technology and special effects. In no way does any of this take away from the original masterpiece!
The most recent film featured wonderful performances by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard! All said and done, the obvious box office draw has always been the dinosaurs!
From the time of the first Jurassic Park til now, there is no doubt why we are really lucky these big guys no longer walk the earth! Scenes like these huge creatures approaching their next human victim will make your blood run cold!
Now, take a look at the behind-the-scenes actions! It definitely takes away a good deal of the terror! If interested, you can also read up on how the artists and consulting experts on dinosaurs were able to recreate these amazing creatures.
Probably one of our favorite franchises are the Bond films that are based on the spy novels by Ian Fleming. One of the most famous and popular films from the franchise is Goldfinger released in 1964 starring Sean Connery.
In one scene, Bond comes to after being knocked out only to discover that his employee, Jill Masterson, is dead.
Bond, Golden Bond
The really horrible part of her death was caused by her skin being covered in gold which led to suffocation. Well, take a big sigh of relief looking at these photos.
You can see a very happy, healthy Shirley Eaton, laying back so she can be painted in gold for that very famous scene!
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
At some point, even Disney needed to jump on the bandwagon by bringing back some of our favorite movies, including Beauty and the Beast.
Disney went out of their way to come up with some really incredible technology-enhanced scenes. This approach also led to some really funny behind-the-scenes photographs!
Beauty Is On The Inside
There is no doubt that Emma Watson looked absolutely stunning as Belle but too bad we couldn’t get to see Dan Stevens when he wasn’t a CGI beast.
Also, Emma deserves a big round of applause for managing to keep a straight face while filming this movie!
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Millions of people around the world have found connections and love for the Star Wars characters including Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C3PO, and of course R2-D2.
They all seem so real that it’s not surprising our brains really believe they are real!
Even though we really do know everything is unreal, there is something about seeing an actor sitting in the R2-D2 costume, as you can see in the photograph.
Where does reality end and fantasy begin?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
It’s really wild to realize that Rocket Raccoon was brought to life thanks to two different actors!
Bradley Cooper is Rocket’s voice while Sean Gunn, from Guardians of the Galaxy, is actually wearing the suit! I bet they both had a lot of fun!
If that isn’t mind-boggling enough, this photo of Drax petting a man in a green suit rather than a raccoon leaves some further questions.
Sometimes, the entire movie industry is just a little too confusing!
Life of Pi (2012)
Life of Pi is based on the exceptional novel that only has two characters. The story is about a man and a tiger are stranded in a boat in the middle of the ocean.
Needless to say, the director needed to get a little creative because a tiger and a man in one boat could be a dangerous situation.
Petting A Plush Toy
This is how it worked out. Instead of a real living, breathing tiger, there’s a plush toy and a boat that is situated on a set.
Do you see that little blue thing? That’s the toy the actor got to work with! The upside, I’ve never run into a plush toy that bites!
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
For Maleficent 2, Angelina Jolie said her intention was to be a “Film Noir Goddess” in terms of costume. But it turns out there were a few little fashion critics on set. And by little, we mean her kids!
Apparently, the original movie set was full of terrified child actors who didn’t like her costume at all. This included her own kids! For the sequel, they offered her lots of suggestions for an outfit update. And she did take some of them, it turns out!
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth was a magical experience for audiences to watch!
This film has become a cult favorite all over the world thanks to its haunting and beautiful plot!
Hungry For Anything
We all remember how Fain went to any lengths to entice the main character into the underworld.
Well, Fain really didn’t need any persuasion to inhale his meal of chicken and Coca-Cola! I guess pulling tricks really does build up a good appetite!
The Terminator (1984)
Everything seems so real, that it’s really difficult to wrap your brain around that Arbie, in the Terminator, really is a human being and not a cyborg with metallic arms and body parts.
It easy to assume that CGI was responsible for his transformations on the screen, but that’s just not the truth.
A Helping Hand
Surprise, surprise – in reality, a crew member sat on the floor while holding a prosthetic limb to create the image of a solid Arnie!
He was literally going out on a limb here!
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
It’s a fact that all producers and directors will go out of their way to ensure every scene in a movie is absolutely perfect!
Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark is no exception by making it easier for them to make a few changes in their props for the temples and dark passages.
It’s All In Your Head
In some cases, they can take some shortcuts. For instance in this shot, instead of coming up with a trunk full of jewels, they used a cardboard cutout!
None of us ever knew that, so you really have to give credit where credit is due!
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Like many superheroes, Spiderman has several impressive skills up his sleeve! He shoots webs out of his fingers so he can hang upside down and can scale buildings with the greatest of ease!
He can relax and take his time from the top of a tower but as I’m sure you can imagine, this takes a great deal of work to help the real-life actor pull off these stunts.
Hang In There
I guess the effects would be lost if you suddenly realized he had bungee cords attached to his suit and the assistance of a crew member who propped him up! Come on now guys!
Spiderman! Spiderman! Does whatever a spider can…not!
Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)
All of the Harry Potter movies have given us so much magic and mystery! They have also given us some of the most beloved characters such as Hermione Granger!
How wonderful that she could spend her school life not having to worry about putting her library books back in the right place. The magic shelves did all that for her! Boy, I could use that for cleaning up my home!
The beauty of magic, what you never got to see were the green hands peeking through the bookshelves waiting to grab the books from her hands!
Hogwarts School of CGI and Trickery!
Lord of the Rings (2001–2003)
When filming Lord of the Rings, there were no tricks or body types they didn’t use to get the exact appearance needed. Giants, Hobbits, Wizards, and Elves all had to appear as completely natural and balanced.
Sir Ian McKellen needed help when standing next to the hobbits. Therefore, he had several other body doubles who were different sizes to pull off the effect of these little people in comparison to a grand wizard!
Who’s The Boss?
There was nothing simple and easy to balance off Gandalf’s size in comparison to the hobbits. In one scene, they brought in a seven-foot-tall body double to replace McKellen when he was talking to Frodo.
Then Ian’s face was superimposed digitally to give the audience the impression this really was him!
Talk about dazzling! Avatar is without a doubt one of the most stunning movies ever made! The blue avatars definitely needed some serious CGI and very special effects.
I think most viewers would prefer not to know that everything is made up so they can just sit back and be swept away in the magic!
Although the actors only donned pointed ears, the outstanding characteristics of the avatars are their blue skin and pointed ears!
They’re blue – da ba dee da ba dye, da ba dee da ba dye, da ba dee da ba dye!
The Godfather (1972)
Needless to say, The Godfather is probably one of the most memorable films of all time. Who could ever forget the legendary actor Marlon Brando as Don Corleone!
Corleone was the don of all dons and called all the shots but there were some crazy behind-the-scenes photos that reveal a different picture!
Well looking at these photos, it’s pretty clear the real Don is Francis Ford Coppola.
As we see him stand behind Brando with his hand on his shoulder, we know how holds definite power!
The 1989 version of Batman was as iconic as it comes, partly due to it being directed by the one and only Tim Burton.
It also helped that Jack Nicholson absolutely nailed the role of the most popular and psychotic villain in comic book history – the joker.
Jokes On You
While his quirky performance stole the show and gave everyone the shivers, this behind-the-scene pic of Nicholson getting his makeup done reminds us that this was just a character.
We can all sleep well at night knowing there is no real psycho clown running around!
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Another Tim Burton classic is the one and only Edward Scissorhands. The film has a cult-like following and was one of Burton and Depp’s first collaborations.
It also starred both Depp and Wynona Ryder who would go on to be romantically involved (the hottest couple in history).
This photo is plain adorable. It shows Johnny Depp pre-Scissorhands makeup but already with those scary hands hugging a sweet-faced Winona Ryder.
Can you just feel that chemistry between them?
The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator really brought Arnold Schwarzenegger to the front field of the acting world.
Directed by James Cameron the one and only, it followed the adventure of an assassin sent from the future for a very specific task.
While Schwarzenegger’s on-screen portrayal of the Terminator was a calculated half cyborg killing machine, this photo from backstage shows Arnold and Cameron chilling side by side – no assassin plans going on over here!
He’ll be back. Hasta la vista, baby!
Who can forget Christopher Reeves and his iconic portrayal in most would say the best Superman movies to date.
Reeves story is tragic, the actor was left quadriplegic after being thrown off a horse and was left having to use a wheelchair as well as a portable ventilator to breathe.
No Special Effects Needed
This behind the scene photo of Superman literally seeming to fly proves that technology and CGI effects are not always needed to create some of the best effects in the film industry!
It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane. No, it’s a crane dangling a man! Superman! Up, up and away!
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
The film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is considered one of the greatest films ever made and we have to agree!
It revolved around Randle McMurphy, a criminal sent to a mental institution who reeks absolutely havoc with amongst the patients and nurse.
They’re All Cuckoo
This iconic behind-the-scene photo shows the whole cast having some fun, nurses, and patients.
It seems that even when the cameras weren’t rolling they could all get a bit crazy!
Pulp Fiction (1994)
What is an iconic movie list without at least one mention of Pulp Fiction? One of Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic films featuring his muse Uma Thurman and John Travolta amongst other stars.
It was quirky, it was violent, it was classic Tarantino, and everyone recalls the most legendary dance scene.
This behind-the-scenes shot shows the filming of that very dance scene.
It’s crazy to think of these characters as actors rather than two weirdos getting it on but it certainly doesn’t take away from the magic!
Joker is breaking the bank right now, and the box office is pretty happy about it! The fans of this film seem to be super-fans, and many want to know more about Joaquin Phoenix’s acting process in the movie. Were all those crazy little quirks pre-planned by the writers, or was it all genius improv?
As it turns out, a lot of the results were organic:
“While some scenes were very planned out, like when he’s in the phonebooth or walking up the stairs, others had no plan at all…When he climbed in the refrigerator, we had no idea he was going to do that. We set up two camera positions, and Joaquin just thought about what he would do if he was a massive insomniac. Again, we lit it so he could go anywhere, and the first and only time he did it, we were mesmerized. I remember thinking, ‘What is he doing? Did he just crawl in the fridge?’ It was as fun and weird for us to watch it, too.”
Unreal stuff, Joaquin!