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40 AMAZING BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS FROM YOUR FAVORITE ICONIC MOVIES

Testing the junk-punch scene effects with the practical FX Goro Suit, Mortal Kombat 1995. It’s been 20 years since I saw this movie and I remember this dumb scene like I just saw it. It brought the house down at the theater I saw this at in Oakland. Seeing it this way…really just brilliant FX team work.

Stills from production of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, 1989. The sets are still amazing when rewatching this one almost 30 years later. I would have thought it would be a shoe-in for special effects nom at the very least…but the winner that year was The Abyss, up against Back to the Future 2 and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Wide shot of the filming of the “burning of Atlanta” scene for Gone with the Wind, 1939. This scene was set ablaze and shot in a little over an hour, and once the embers cooled the production team began building the sets for Tara, Twelve Oaks and downtown Atlanta.
Testing the Deadpool surgery head practical SFX for X-men Origins: Wolverine*, in the scene that calls for the eyelids to be peeled back.
Made of silicone and fiberglass and servo motors by Studio ADI.

 

2011’s Cabin in the Woods werewolf suit, sculpted painted and styled by Norman Cabrera while at AFX. The greenscreened actors legs will be removed with VFX in the final cut.

 

  
Behind the scenes of the Supergirl and The Flash crossover, before CGI special effects….

…..And after. 50%-ish less silly.
Jean-Claude Van Damme in the original Predator suit on the set of Predator, 1987. This version of the costume was eventually scrapped for a different design and Van Damme was ultimately replaced by Kevin Peter Hall for the classic version of the Predator that we all know and love today.

Stan Winston Studios testing the pteranodon animatronic body suit for Jurassic Park 3, 2001.
….and here it is on set. The white tube socks are the most realistic part.
Puppeteers Sally Ray, Brent Baker, Grant Arndt, Jose Fernandez and Mike Jolly working on the movie theater scene for Gremlins, 1984.
This is less of a show and more of a tell. This effect is called a dolly zoom, also known commonly as the Hitchcock zoom created by the man himself and used for the first time in the film Vertigo, 1958, . The gif here is from Jaws (1975), and another good example seen in Goodfellas (1995) here: https://youtu.be/H4Utlw0XiHU . The technique is pretty simple for such a powerful visual punch: A stationary object is photographed/filmed as the camera moves towards or away from it while adjusting its focal point so that the object remains the same size relative to the rest of the scene.
A front view of the rotating set of the spacecraft Discovery One from 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968. It was commonly referred to as “the centrifuge” set, better seen from the side…
Essentially a giant ferris wheel, the centrifuge rotating set weighed 27 tons and had a diameter of 38 feet.
Jessica Alba filming her strip club scene on the nearly entirely greenscreened set of Sin City, 2005. About 80% more awkward and unsexy without the amazing CGI. (I’m gonna mark this post as mature anyway because of course I am, but this is seriously the least sexy thing ever.)
Hugh Jackman prepping for a scene with the SFX team, from X-Men Days of Future Past, 2014.
Filming Lando’s animatronic and puppeted co-pilot Nien Nunb for Return of the Jedi, 1983.

 
The team from the Stan Winston Studio testing throat slash effects for Interview with a Vampire, 1994.
Practical effects for 2017’s Alien Covenant, sculpted by Colin Ware Prosthetix.
Behind the scenes of Ishiro Honda’s “The War of the Gargantuas”, 1966. Not so gargantuan.

 
Amazing camera work filming the jump stunt through the window, for The Bourne Ultimatum, 2007.
Filming the waterslide scenes from Goonies, 1985. Mad respect to that lighting guy.
Jack Nicholson propped up with 2x4s, foam blocks and a pillow to shoot the final scene from The Shining, 1980.
A view of Josh Brolin’s mouthpiece SFX makeup on the set of Jonah Hex, 2010.*

 
Quentin Tarantino doing the whitest white dad dancing I’ve ever seen while filming the iconic scene from Pulp Fiction, 1994. According to Travolta, quite a good chunk of the dance routine was conceived on the spot. “That was improvised quite a bit. I’d actually told Quentin about the dances I grew up with. The Twist is what he wanted, but I said, ‘There were other fun dances from that era! The Spin, The Batman, The Hitchhiker. You can expand this, and don’t have to include just The Twist.’ And he said, ‘Okay.’ So I said, ‘Why don’t you film it, and you call it out? We’ll start with The Twist, and then when you get bored with The Twist, throw out something else.’ So he was behind the camera going, ‘The Swim! The Batman!’ He’d mix-and-match. We shot it during the section of the day, and there weren’t that many takes.”

Rehearsing the fight choreography between Benedict Cumberbatch and Mads Mikkelsen in Doctor Strange, 2016.
The Beast cools off in between takes on the set of The Sandlot, 1993.
Testing a variation of Rebecca Romijn’s Mistique bodysuit for Xmen, 2000.

 
Footage of the 1:3 scale model miniatures used for the Batmobile/garbage truck crash sequence in The Dark Knight. To make scenes shot at scale work properly, you need to film at a speed that scales inversely to the miniature scale. This is a lot of brainery, but basically if you are filming miniatures at half scale (1:2) you need to film twice the number of frames per second (48fps) to preserve the apparent scale. The formula to find the correct frame rate is: Sqrt(scale) * 24 = fps So a 1/3rd scale would come out to around 41 FPS. 1/2 scale would come out to about 33 FPS. http://www.cinematography.net/edited-pages/MiniatureFormula.htm
If you ever wondered how Speilberg got the POV shot of ET wandering around in his Halloween costume, this should solve the mystery.
Mostly I love this image because of the sheer delight on his face.
An actor on Walking Dead wearing his prosthetic half-zombie body. Sculpted by Kevin Wasner.
Compsognathus hop test for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 1997. (Anyone else make the HOP HOP noise in your head while it hops? No, just me?)
Will Smith fighting with a zombie dog on the set of I am Legend, 2007.
Bruce, the shark from JAWS, under construction, 1974. The plywood really amps up the terror level.
There were several versions of the Ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Here you see a wide shot of the lighting dummy version made of plywood and 4 sticks to make a clear, sharp shadow on the wall while they lift it.
For the scene in 1981’s Escape from New York where Snake Plissken flies a glider into the prison city that is now New York, the cops are keeping track of his progress on a computer screen. Technology wasn’t advanced enough to make this look in any way believable, so the “computer” graphics you see are actually a model city, completely outlined in reflective tape and shot under blacklight. Here’s the final scene: https://vimeo.com/22393980

 
Testing practical effects for the 2017 movie Trench 11, created by Mindwarp Productions.
The audio is great: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjqX90zHzwp
Jeremy Renner wearing Scarlett Johansson’s stunt double’s mask on the Avengers 2 set.

  
The creation of the giant eyes for the Garden of Eyes, from Kubo and the Two Strings, 2016.
The sauce is long but there is SO much awesome stuff if you liked Kubo or if you like stop motion or if you’re creative at all…
I mean, just watch it: https://youtu.be/9nSSk7spa2M
Effects creators work on the star of The White Buffalo, 1977. This film has been left to history as a western Jaws meets Moby Dick, starring Charles Bronson and directed by Dino Di Laurentiis. It’s as cheesy as you’d imagine. However, the buffalo was pretty amazing. It was designed and created by Carlo Rambaldi, who was at this point best known for creating 1976’s King Kong. You might know some of his other work… mechanical head effects work on Alien in 1983 and designing the alien itself in ET in 1982. Spoiler alert for anyone who wants to punish themselves with the whole movie, this sauce link goes right to the climactic scene where you actually SEE the buffalo in action, but this is the full film if you have some time to kill: https://youtu.be/LTuDCjdxzoc?t=1h22m34s
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