How Visual Effects Were Done Before CGI & The Green Screen

hangingoffclockvisualeffect

Visual effects in filmmaking have certainly come a long way. Today, anyone with enough knowledge to navigate around the right software and access to YouTube can incorporate astounding visual effects into home videos. Heck, you can even do it with certain apps from your smartphone!

And yet, there was a time before all of this – before CGI and green screens – where ingenious visual effects were achieved, resulting in amazing movie scenes. They didn’t have digital tools to rely on. Instead, to capture audience imaginations, they had to rely on trick perspectives, hidden pulleys and even filter adjustments to create screen magic.

Redditor Auir2blaze has compiled some examples into an Imgur post and then provided an explanation for how the effect was achieved. It’s a fascinating and educational read as you discover how they filmed Harold Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock high above the street in Safety Last! (1923) (hailed as one of the most enduring images in all of cinema), how Mary Pickford could kiss herself on the cheek in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921), and several more.

Read all about it here.

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