How to Make Movie Magic: Filmmaking Tips, Tricks, and Illusions

Have you ever wondered how filmmakers create realism in their films? Whether it's having a character scramble across a ceiling, severing the head of a zombie, making hair seemingly grow before your eyes, or getting a giant to flip a car over, all of these illusions are achieved by seamlessly combining any number of techniques, crafts, and concepts. In this video RocketJump Film School cites examples from Aliens, Wizard of Oz, The Godfather, Lord of the Rings, and other well known movies, to demonstrate how filmmakers use "movie magic" to sell their scenes.

Editing, cinematography, makeup effects, dummies, props, puppets, reverse photography, production design, forced perspective, and compositing are all covered in this 20 minute video. By layering these techniques together filmmakers are able to create a sense of authenticity which helps them tell their tale, captivate audiences, and draw the viewer into the story. At the same time this video shows us how teamwork, creative thinking, and problem solving are all key to creating a convincing scene. So when you're telling your next story ask yourself: what's happening in this scene, what does the audience need to see to believe it's happening, and how can we creatively pull it off? 

Even though these tools make for a solid foundation, there are a lot more movie tricks at your disposal. So, please add to our education by sharing some of your favorites in the comments below. And if you've ever had to come up with a clever solution to a particular on-set problem, we would love to hear it. Inspire us.

[via RocketJump Film School]

Log in or register to post comments

4 Comments

Mário Gouveia's picture

Great post!!!

Kenn Tam's picture

Thanks Mario but the real credit goes to the RocketJump crew. Joey managed to pack so much info into this video.

Robin Browne's picture

Full of ideas, thank you.

Ed B.'s picture

You mean to tell me they're not really chopping off the heads of zombies on The Walking Dead?