Breaking Down Our Favorite Movie Magic Tricks

Movies

Movies are supposed to be magic. They’re supposed to transport you to another time and place, take away all your troubles, and make you imagine a world different from your own. To do this, movies need to have their tricks up their sleeves to make everything that you’re watching feel real to life. Imagine watching The Avengers, and Tony Stark’s suit looked like cheap plastic, or hulk looked animated. It would make the whole movie a bit of a joke and you’d struggle to take it seriously. That’s why filmmakers need these tricks.

Making Cars Drive

Filming on open roads, with actual drivers, does happen, but it’s also difficult to do. After all, movies are expensive and with there already being more than 5,891,000 accidents annually in the United States, it’s important not to get anyone hurt. So, movies use their magic to accomplish these types of car chase scenes. Well, stationary cars on set are still used, with a camera set up and special effects to make it look more realistic. Other times, trailers can actually be attached to the cars themselves for the effect. Then, of course, there are trained stunt drivers in specialized cars for these tricks. Makes you think about Fast and the Furious a bit differently.

Filming Fires

There are ways to train for extreme heat, like normalizing. This technique heats parts as high as 1700 degrees before the air is rapidly cooled. In movies, for fire-based scenes, there are a few ways to film them. For directors who want a practical effect, they may burn a building down, in a controlled blaze. However, this is rare and can only be done from outside a building. In most modern cases, CGI is used. However, if a real fire is needed for any reason, then propane gas can create controlled fires as well.

Electricity on Set

There is a ton of electricity involved in filming a movie. Traveling at 6,696,000 mph, it’s not easy to control either, and it deserves a ton of respect. This includes in the usage of power amps, and not overloading power strips. If you do this, there can be disastrous consequences that include power outages that stop filming and even fires.

Talking to a CGI Creature

Have you ever watched a movie and wondered how they got an actor to talk to a creature that isn’t there or something that must have been a special effect? Well, the truth is that most times actors are doing something very difficult, where they act against air. Think about Harry Potter talking to a house elf. All actor Daniel Radcliffe would get is a ball to look at for his sightline, to make it look like he was looking in the right place. Otherwise, he had to act against air. In some cases, you may have someone read lines off camera. The thing being spoken to is added with CGI afterward.

Missing Limbs on a Character

Sometimes movie magic is simple and doesn’t need to change in a major way. In the case of a character missing limbs, the easiest way is to tuck that missing limb underneath them or in a shirt designed to hide their arm. This way, it looks like they’re missing it without any major effort. However, some movies will choose to use computers to remove the limb, as it’s easier on the actor at times.

If you go back and watch classic movies, you can almost see how movie magic tricks have evolved over time. From cars driving in front of a screen cycling footage around them to make-up and computer effects, these have always been vital to making our favorite movies great.

 

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