Stu­dio se­crets

Un­rav­el­ling some movie mys­ter­ies

How It Works - - HISTORY -

stop-mo­tion pho­tog­ra­phy

French ma­gi­cian and film­maker Georges Méliès turned a pump­kin into a car­riage (Cin­derella, 1899) sim­ply by stop­ping the cam­era, chang­ing the ob­ject he was film­ing, and record­ing again.

trav­el­ling mattes

Cine­matog­ra­phers com­bined scenes that were shot at dif­fer­ent times by con­ceal­ing part of the film us­ing a ‘matte’. In The Great Train Rob­bery (1903), footage of a mov­ing lo­co­mo­tive was com­bined with footage of a rob­bery.

soft fo­cus

The glam­orous glow of sil­ver screen star­lets was ac­tu­ally achieved us­ing Vase­line. Ap­ply­ing a lit­tle pe­tro­leum jelly on the cam­era lens cre­ated a soft-fo­cus, dreamy ef­fect.


The first ever Tech­ni­color blue-screen fea­tured in The Thief of Bag­dad (1940). By com­bin­ing the blue and green neg­a­tives to cre­ate a solid matte, the film could be com­bined with new footage shot against a blue-screen.

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