The director of photography shows only so much that goes on in a movie set. After all, they’re supposed to make us believe the unbelievable. Meanwhile, the art department, the effects team, and other crew members are working tirelessly to please the director and their vision of the story.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
Model maker Michael Lynch created a mock crowd by cutting and painting 450,000 cotton swabs. To make it seem like the crowd was cheering, the filmmakers placed fans underneath the setup.
Corpse Bride (2005)
Hours of painstaking work, filling the set with tiny models.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The rig which shot the iconic opening credits of the movie.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
Kenny Baker fueling up during a filming break.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
Filmmakers used this prop to film close-up shots of the ring.
Steven Spielberg laying in Bruce’s jaws. The animatronic shark was designed specifically for the movie.
Star Wars: Episodes I & II
Mythbuster Adam Savage worked as a model maker on both Star Wars episode I and II.
The Matrix (1999)
In the shot where Neo was reaching for a doorknob, there was no way to properly hide the camera, so the director of photography threw a coat onto himself with a tie matching the one Morpheus was wearing, trying to blend in as much as possible.
Over 100 pairs of latex hands were made to film the “Helping Hands” scene.
Jurassic Park (1993)
How the life-size T-Rex animatronic looked on the set.
Bolaji Badejo, a Nigerian student who wore the Alien suit in his only film role, sitting down for a rest during a break. Filming was extremely physically taxing for him as the costume was made from latex that made breathing very hard.
Bolaji Badejo, a Nigerian student who wore the Alien suit in the only movie he starred in, relaxing during a filming break. His role was extremely physically taxing as the costume was made from latex that made breathing very hard.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Stanley Kubrick created the “floating pen” by having the crew glue it to a large sheet of glass, which was then rotated around to give the impression of free-floating.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Steven Spielberg holding a camera that’s covered in a white cloth with two symmetrical holes in it. It was used to get the point of view shots for E.T.
Back To The Future Part II (1989)
Behind-the-scenes shot of effects crew working on Marty McFly’s auto-adjusting and auto-drying jacket.
Custom-built John Travolta torso which was used to film the skin removal scene.
The Hunt For Red October (1990)
Actors Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin posing for a photo on the set.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Director Wes Anderson working with actor Ralph Fiennes who’s looking through the window of a “train.”
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (1989)
A giant robotic bee was built for the bee ride scene. The finishing touches were added in post-production.
The famous scene with the laser cutting through a table had a lot of reality to it. To film it, a crew member was under the table with an acetylene torch, actually slicing through the table from beneath. The nervous look on Sean Connery’s face must’ve been real.
The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick working with the famous maze.
Men In Black (1997)
The actual alien from the movie.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Crew members carefully setting vehicle models before a shoot.
Raise The Titanic (1980)
A diver positions a 55-foot scale model of the Titanic.
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Muppeteers, including Jim Henson, working on the set.
Independence Day (1996)
The highest grossing movie of 1996 used a mixture of models and CGI for the effects shots. Around 80% of effects were models (like the large-scale model below) while the other 20% were created digitally.
Filmmakers created the effects shots using a clever mixture of models and CGI. Around 80% of effects in the highest grossing movie of 1996 were models (like the large-scale model below) while the other 20% were created digitally.
Escape From New York (1981)
There’s a scene in the movie in which the cops are looking at a digital map of the city. At the time it was filmed, technology wasn’t advanced enough to fully aid the filmmakers, so they built a physical model instead.
Star Wars: Episode VI — Return Of The Jedi (1983)
George Lucas next to the fully operational Death Star.
True Lies (1994)
For this movie, the US Government supplied three Marine Harriers and their pilots for a fee of $100,736. Here’s a ground-shot of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis doing their thing.
Crew members building Bruce, the animatronic shark.
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984)
How the plane crash scene was filmed.