Bright Side
NewPopular
Inspiration
Creativity
Wonder

15 Photos That Show How Special Effects Were Done in the Past

Iconic movies from many years ago were brought to life in the most ingenious ways because technology like computer-generated imagery (CGI) was not as developed as it is today. In Back To The Future, for example, it took a village to pull the strings in order to get the effects of the auto-adjusting jacket. Filmmakers then may have faced many limitations, but this never stopped them from making their movies believable with the help of pre-CGI special effects.

Bright Side dug out some behind-the-scenes photos of older movies to see how special effects were achieved back in the day.

1. In Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), a mirror was used to give the effect of flying.

2. In Back To The Future Part II (1989), the auto-adjusting jacket had strings that were pulled by a number of the staff.

3. In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999), the audience was made of colored Q-tips and a fan blew from underneath so the crowd appeared to be moving.

4. In Elf (2003), platforms and forced perspective were used to make Will Farrell appear bigger.

5. In Ghostbusters (1984), the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was a person in costume walking on top of a miniature set.

6. In 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), a rotating Ferris wheel like set was built to give the effect of zero gravity when the man walks.

7. In The Terminator (1984), the Terminator was carried like a backpack in some scenes.

8. In Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936), the roller skating scene was done with a photo on a glass in a frame.

9. In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Yoda was a puppet played by Frank Oz.

10. In Superman (1978), instead of being suspended by wire, the actors were propped up for the flying scene.

11. In Return of the Jedi (1983), Jabba’s rancor was brought to life like this.

12. In Mary Poppins (1964), a sodium screen was used to put in the animation and backgrounds.

13. In Jurassic Park (1993), life-sized animatronics were used for the dinosaurs.

14. In Back To The Future Part II (1989), the hoverboard was glued to Michael J. Fox’s feet to get the hovering effect.

15. In the original Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983), detailed matte paintings were used as backgrounds.

Which of these movies have you watched that made you feel impressed with how realistic they seemed? Can you name any other movies that use creative, old-school special effects?