From the original Casino Royale (1967) to Skyfall (2012), from ancient gladiators to futuristic science fiction adventures, we, the audience, marvel at the effects and the graphic details portrayed. We take for granted the work that has gone into the production of these effects, can watch the special features on the DVD if so inclined, but rarely do we stop to consider how even the most effects are done.
We are here to explain how these effects are achieved and how they can be replicated. It is not easy, and some techniques, like stunts, take a lot of training, skill and resources, more than you would think, so we don’t suggest you undertake them.
Here we pay tribute to the 2013 remake of this classic movie, and support the making of each and every movie, especially those done at home.
How to get a movie made in Hollywood
How film makers create their effects
Stop motion, back projection, travelling matte, motion control - these are simply some of the tricks of the film-maker's trade. Some are strikingly simple, others highly technical and innovative.
Back projection: combining beauty and the beast
The giant ape King Kong crashes into the jungle clearing to find his female sacrificial victim tied between twin pillars. With one finger he unwinds her bonds, then picks her up and lumbers off, clutching her in his gigantic paw. In fact, for most of this scene in the film King Kong (1933), the 'monster' was a model, 18in (460mm) high.
The effect was achieved through a technique called back or rear projection, by beaming film of the ape and background scenery onto the back of a translucent screen, while the actress Fay Wray played her role in front.
The main snag with the system is that the back-projected image tends to look flatter and dimmer than the foreground action. This is because the amount of light penetrating the screen is less than the light illuminating the foreground action.