Understanding Movie Making Magic

Movies have evolved a lot since the early silent films were first introduced at the beginning of the 20th century. In one of the first movies ever filmed a cardboard rocket ship was launched to the moon and. you guessed it, that was made of cardboard as well. Nobody cared back then because they’d never seen a moving picture before and they were simply thrilled with the novelty. Today’s movie going public is much more sophisticated and demands far better special effects. Fortunately technology has come a long way in just over a century and we now have the privilege of watching movies that are extremely realistic. Here are some of the best examples of movie making magic in action.


Using highly detailed scaled models is not a new concept in film – they’ve been doing it for decades. It wasn’t until George Lucas’s Star Wars though that those models began to achieve a level or realism that allowed us to truly suspend our belief for a little while. Believe it or not some of the best films still use models even with the widely available CGI technology. Some filmmakers are still convinced you can make a more realistic film with models than you can with computer graphics. It probably comes down to a matter of personal preference, but as long as they’re making great movies I don’t think any of us mind.


The movie Gravity features some of the most stunning space scenes ever filmed. It’s a special effects marvel, but it’s also amazingly realistic. It’s set in our own timeline and features space technology that exists today unlike other movies that take place in space that normally feature civilizations that are fare in advance of our own. You might think it would be fairly straightforward to make a movie like this, but it actually took 4 years to make. In fact, some of the technology used to make this movie didn’t even exist so the movie makers had to invent it themselves.

A Martian Universe

One of the main goals of NASA these days, along with some private companies, is to put human beings on Mars. In the movie The Martian that desire becomes a reality and it features some of the most realistic scenes of another planet ever filmed. One of the most significant technologies used in The Martian was the use of Green Screen. Basically, this is when movie makers film actors in front of a green screen and then use computer generated images to fill in the background later. The Martian had a lot of Green Screen scenes and went a long way in proving that CGI technology is ready for primetime.