Explore All In Numerology
Recent Articles
Recent Articles
Recent Articles
Recent Articles

Behind The Scenes: The Secrets Of Movie Magic Revealed

Through green screens and CGI, we’ve reached a point where filmmakers can show their audiences anything—provided they have the budget to bring their vision to life. Special effects of the digital variety are cool; Marvel and Star Wars wouldn’t exist in their current forms without them.

Georgia Ashcroft
Georgia Ashcroft
Apr 05, 2023137 Shares2.1K Views
Jump to
  1. Space
  2. The “magic hour”
  3. Editing
  4. Things are not always what they seem
  5. Some things are exactly what they seem

Through green screens and CGI, we’ve reached a point where filmmakers can show their audiences anything—provided they have the budget to bring their vision to life. Special effects of the digital variety are cool; Marvel and Star Wars wouldn’t exist in their current forms without them.

And yet the magical aspect of filmmaking can get lost in translation. Something special happens when actors and filmmakers have to really stretch their imaginations to bring a scene to life. The same can happen across a number of forms of entertainment, with game creators also being required to dig deep into their imaginations. You can read about them by perusing the Thunderpick blogwhich is updated regularly to provide enthusiasts with new articles.

In this article, we take a look at movie magicsecrets that enhance the films you love.

Space

Have you ever noticed that in movies all of the rooms look enormous? Pay attention and you’ll see that even families who are apparently struggling to pay the bills have enormous eat-in kitchens. Is Hollywood simply out of touch with how the average American lives?

Well, probably, sure. But that’s not the only reason why houses in movies and television shows don’t look right. The real reason is that most of the time you are looking at a sound stage. A space that has been specifically designed not just to look like a real house, but also to accommodate the enormous number of people involved in making a movie.

Between the cast and crew, there could be dozens of people on set at any given time. Large spaces make it easy for camera crews to gain access to a wide variety of shots. They also provide more room for action sequences, and simply keep shots from appearing cluttered.

In fact, filmmakers will often scout for real locations, and then replicate them with a sound stage later on. Not only does this provide them with more space, but it also gives them access to bespoke features that increase their ability to get creative.

Action scenes don’t always fit comfortably within the space restrictions of a real home. Soundstages make it easier to create realistic-looking scenes in false environments.

The “magic hour”

Shooting outside is very difficult. Cloud formations change. Light fluctuates. There is weather, spectators, animal behavior, etc. A large portion of these variables are fixed in post. However, some interruptions are unavoidable.

Even a really great editing staff needs enough continuity within their shots to string together a compelling scene. They get this through what those in film call the “magic hour”. Sixty minutes or so before the sun sets, the quality of light looks like it is professionally staged. Timing,after all, is everything.

For that reason, filmmakers often try to time their outdoor shots accordingly. Even though the scene you are watching takes place in the morning, there is a good chance it was shot late afternoon. Astute viewers may be able to observe this by paying attention to the shadows in the scene.

Editing

Film is a lot different than stage productions. In theatre, you say your line once, and then it is over. Film sets can spend an entire day filming one or two scenes. Now, that in and of itself is a kind of magic, allowing directors to have a wide range of visual options for how they put together their story.

It also gives editors an enormous amount of room for creativity. On the editing table, they can turn bad performances into—well, less bad performances. And they can turn great performances into cinema gold.

Editors are the unsung heroes of the film industry. You might have a favorite actor, director, or even writer, but you probably don’t have a favorite editor.

That’s a shame. Next time you are watching a film, stick around for the credits and see the names that pieced together your favorite moments in the flick.

Things are not always what they seem

In film, an object only must look convincing for a few seconds. Consequently, filmmakers often get creative when deciding what objects to use to tell their stories. You may have heard that Dairy Queen uses mashed potatoesin their ads instead of milkshakes.

Similar tricks are used in film all the time. The goal is to find affordable, sustainable solutions to make film sets look as life-like as possible.

Some things are exactly what they seem

Finally, some movie magic is real. Every now and then, there is no faking it. Actors and other filmmakers go to extremes to add authenticity to a movie. Natalie Portman studied ballet for up to eight hours a day while preparing for her role in Black Swan.

Christian Bale famously gains and loses weight constantly for movie roles. Jared Leto mailed dead rats to his co-stars on Suicide Squad as a way to get into his character’s headspace (Joker never actually mails Margot Robbie dead rodentsin the comic books, but his dedication was notable just the same).

It’s hard to quantify the value that these commitments add to a film. Are they just publicity stunts? Maybe sometimes. But often, when an actor dives into their character completely, they come out the other end with a performance that elevates the film for everyone.

Recent Articles