Entertainment
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Behind The Scenes Images Of Special Effects You Had No Idea Were Practical

Updated February 2, 2021 1.1k votes 246 voters 17.0k views22 items

Movie special effects have become so detailed sometimes it’s impossible to tell when something is or isn’t CGI. On-set special effects you didn’t know were practical stem from a combination of craftsmanship and hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of hard work by a dedicated cast and crew. Everything from crazy sets, to fake wounds, to famous movie monsters gets done in the shot for all to see, and many films still adhere to using practical special effects because they're proven to work. For example, Mad Mad: Fury Road managed to weave a massive blockbuster tale without bringing CGI usage to the forefront. The explosions, the cars, and, most importantly, the stunts were real.

But even other CGI-heavy films you’d expect to forgo practical effects work have them in spades. The Star Wars prequels, for example, feature a ton of model work and location shooting in them, but everyone only notices the CGI. While it’s true many films use CGI these days, you’d be surprised how many of them don’t. 

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    Yes, They Really Blew Up All The Cars In "Mad Max: Fury Road"

    Director George Miller said that the crew tried to use computerized effects, but "CG didn't make sense in a movie in which everything is real...so we did it for real." And they did indeed. Mad Max: Fury Road custom-built 150 cars, including the "War Rig." The "War Rig" was built out of a Czechoslovakian Tatra and Chevy Fleetmaster, eventually creating "a six-wheel drive 18-wheeler with two V8s end-to-end." 

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    Everyone Who Saw "The Dark Knight" Was Flipping Out Over The Piston

    That 18-wheeler you saw flipping over? Yeah, it's real. And there's even a real person behind the wheel. The crew placed a remote-controlled piston underneath the truck, secured the driver with plenty of steel bars, and Christopher Nolan's plan worked brilliantly. 

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    "Jurassic Park" Had Stan Winston On Set, Meaning Minimal CGI

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    The "Inception" Hallway Fight Still Boggles Our Minds

    The big rotating hallway is...a big rotating hallway. Yes, Christopher Nolan and co. built a centrifuge, attached actors to wires, put cameras everywhere, and apparently Joseph Gordon Levitt sang Bach to himself to ensure that he didn't go smashing into the wrong part of the set. 

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