40 Times Green Screen Effects Fooled You in Your Favorite Movies
Movies have come a long way in the last two decades. Scenes that were super cool in 1995 seem super corny in 2019. With advancement of CGI and green screen technology, Hollywood is taking us to places we never dreamed possible. Keep reading to see how some of the coolest movie scenes were made!
Producers and directors knew that this iconic film was going to heavily rely on CGI technology, so the actual film set was pretty bare. The artists did an insane job though! Who would’ve guessed this iconic scene didn’t take place in a warehouse?
The Hunger Games
All of the cool, digital surveillance technology in The Hunger Games was done using a green screen on a regular desk. Jennifer Lawrence could’ve escaped the whole time!
The Chronicles of Narnia
Recreating Narnia was no easy feat, but it was the crux of the success of the film. To create the magical land of Narnia, filmmakers and directors used CGI effects to make existing locations look absolutely grand, even if it looked dilapidated in real life. Pretty neat!
Hugh Jackman made the perfect Wolverine. His face is too good looking to slice up, so the directors had to use CGI – kidding! But GGI was used to create Wolverine’s battle scars for one big reason – Wolverine’s skin is self-healing. This skin regeneration was done via impeccable CGI!
Green screen technology is used all throughout the Avengers movies; but perhaps the most impressive use of it is for Mark Ruffalo’s character, Bruce Banner. We know celebrities are notorious for changing their physical appearances for roles, but we don’t think it would be healthy for Ruffalo to gain 1,400 pounds for the role of The Hulk.
I Am Legend
This one, as creepy as it is, made us glad to see! Do you remember the traumatic scene in I Am Legend where a very talented Will Smith has to kill his loyal dog with his bare hands? Well don’t worry! His faithful German Shepherd, Samantha, was not actually harmed in the making of this film. We aren’t sure about the guy in the green suit’s arm however!
Beauty and the Beast
Rather than a conventional “beast” costume, the creators of Beauty and the Beast went with CGI for a more realistic looking man-beast. The photo above shows us how the look was created with stilts and a funny, puffy suit. Emma Watson is obviously a fine actress, because we would be laughing our butts off at that crazy costume!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter has a huge, worldwide fan base for a reason: It is impeccable story telling with impeccable acting and scenery. The scenery during the famous, flying quidditch tournament was created by filming each actor individually surrounded by blue and green screens. The rest is movie magic!
We always wondered where these immaculate Persian castles were that movies are filmed in. It turns out that they are right here in Hollywood. Some artifacts were replicated, but the actual rooms were created using a blue screen. Pretty awesome idea! We were totally fooled.
Wolf of Wall Street
This captivating Scorsese film, starring an insanely talented Leonardo DiCaprio had a $100 million budget. This seems like a lot, but the filmmakers saved money and time by filming the European scenes right here in the States using green screens.
Life of Pi
This touching adventure movie is based on the bestselling book, which fascinated readers all over the world. The story revolves around a shipwrecked boy named Pi, and the Bengal Tiger he befriends named Richard Parker. While tigers are amazing creatures, they aren’t exactly known for being cuddly. To work around this, Richard Parker wasn’t played by a tiger at all, but rather by this weird, blue stuffed animal. Good thing for lead actor, Suraj Sharma!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Davy Jones, played by actor Bill Nighy, is a very memorable character from the Pirates franchise. His acting is amazing, but it’s the terrifying, cephalopod-like head that instills fear. Thankfully for Nighy, plastic surgery wasn’t required; just some face paint and strategically placed dots. Leave the CGI team to do the rest!
Game of Thrones
As much as we love the world of dragons, dire wolves, ice, and snow, we have to let you in on a secret: It doesn’t exist. The effects used in Game of Thrones were created using green screens, and excellent acting!
In 2012 Edward Norton replaced Mark Ruffalo as the iconic Bruce Banner/Hulk. Fans were not mad about it though, because the talented actor captured the role just as well as Ruffalo. Here is a picture of Thor fighting The Hulk. Off screen it looks like Thor is fighting a green puppet wearing your mom’s yoga pants. The CGI in these movies is incredible!
This iconic Tarentino movie instantly became a cult classic. Uma Thurman stars as a wife on a deadly mission. Thurman had a stunt double to do the crazy dangerous fight scenes, but as you see in the picture up above Thurman is dangling through the air on wires to kick some butt.
Robert Downey Jr. and Terrance Howard already have a tough job as actors in a huge franchise, adding a 500-pound suit probably would’ve hindered their acting chops. Instead, the actors wore the above costumes so CGI could be used to add the famous suits.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s an actor suspended by wires in front of a green screen. Sorry to ruin the movie magic, but it is cool how they were able to make Superman’s flights so convincing! Green screen technology is incredible.
X-Men: Days of Future Past was nominated for its use of special effects. It’s no wonder why either, the movie has a total of 1,311 visual effects. Wow!
There are many special effects used in this hit series, which features zombies roaming the world. Here is a picture of how Hollywood magic changed a bustling city scene into a desolate ghost town. Jury is still out as to whether the zombies are real.
We have always wondered how bombs are set off in movies. Some films actually do use real bombs and explosions; but in most movies that is not the case. Here in Infinity War we can see that the after-bombing effect was created using a blue screen and CGI.
Game of Thrones
In this scene, Daenerys Targaryen is petting her pet dragon. Pretty amazing how it didn’t bite her face off! That’s because actress Emilia Clarke is actually petting a weird, cactus-looking thing that editors turned into a scaly, scary dragon. This one is our favorite.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Actor Andy Serkis was phenomenal as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But how did they turn the actor into an ape? The process involves taking a ton of facial scans of the actor, which were used to use his facial expressions for his ape-like character.
Much like in Iron Man, RoboCop used stop motion models wearing helmets and shades to create the robots. This is so the actors wouldn’t have to walk around in heavy metal suits.
We wondered how they did this one! Here on the set of The Matrix we can see Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss being moved by green men in front of a green screen! This is how they achieved the effect of dodging bullets.
While it appears that Hollywood execs launched actress Sandra Bullock into outer space for this incredible film, but alas, we’ve been fooled! Bullock’s trip to outer space was created on a lot using advanced CGI graphics. A big upgrade from the cheesy space movies of the 70s!
Mad Max: Fury Road
The whole plot of Mad Max: Fury Road was modified trucks flying through the desert exploding. But guess what! There was no wasteland and no explosions. See how it was achieved in this photo. We still buy it.
This movie is special because it was able to use green screens to incorporate actual footage from archival images. This technique brought the viewers back to ancient Rome and right onto the battlefield.
Actor Josh Brolin had his facial expressions scanned a ton of times so that his super villain Thanos could have realistic expressions. The creators had to turn Brolin into such a hideous villain that even his mother wanted to kill him. Yikes!
A Good Day to Die Hard
Bruce Willis stars in this action-packed film where his life is in danger 100 times. Luckily he was never actually in harm’s way. This series of intense explosions was created using our friend the green screen!
Life of Pi
Life of Pi is a brilliant film adaptation of an enthralling novel. Good thing Pi’s life wasn’t in any danger. The Bengal Tiger in the movie was CGI. It sure had us fooled! This movie is a must-see.
This dramatic crime series costs a ton of money to create – that’s because they had to take viewers back to the Prohibition Era in Atlantic City. The design team used green screens to be able to transform the lot into any old place they wanted through use of photographs and postcards from the time period – pretty cool!
With a budget of $200 million dollars, you’d think James Cameron could’ve rebuilt the “unsinkable” ship. But rather than doing that, Leo and Kate filmed this iconic scene in front of our friend Mr. Green Screen. Photographs were used to create the Titanic.
In order for the phenomenal Avengers actors to not be burned alive, green screens were used to create the fire, water, and explosions the Avengers had to deal with. I vet the actors are glad. We would hate for Thor’s beautiful locks to be burned off!
Since Tron takes place inside of computer software, the place had to be created by some clever designers and some innovative ideas. Blue screens were used so that the directors and designers could add futuristic lighting and colors to draw the viewer into the world of Tron.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Well now this is just disappointing! Here we can see Hermione, played by the amazing Emma Watson, walking through the magical library at Hogwarts. Unfortunately the library is just a normal one. Look at the spooky green hands! The green gloves were used again to make the books appear to be able to move themselves. Way to kill the magic!
Godzilla is one of the most famous, scary monsters ever created. He is HUGE, he is reptilian, and he is angry. If you want to see how far technology has come, watch the 1954 original compared to this one from 2014. CGI has come a long way – and we are glad. This movie was thrilling!
The Dark Knight
Harvey Dent sure did get the short end of the stick in this movie. At least Aaron Eckhart didn’t actually have to chemically burn half of his handsome face off. His disturbing transformation into Two-Face was done using sensors and dots – much less disturbing.
Robert Downey Jr. was perfectly cast as Iron Man. While Tony Stark has millions upon millions of dollars, he still couldn’t actually fly. So how did Downey Jr. accomplish this? He didn’t! CGI stepped in to save the day. Check out how cool this computer image turned out! Color us impressed.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Bradley Cooper provides the voice for the cybernetically engineered raccoon. Cooper did not however physically act as Rocket. For that actor Sean Gunn acted out Rocky’s parts while wearing this green suit. It’s pretty hilarious watching a touching scene with Gunn being petted like an animal. Who’s a good boy?
As somebody who grew up on Loony Tunes, this one hurts. Poor Michael Jordan didn’t even get to act with Bugs Bunny and the crew. Instead he played against men in green suits. Still pretty cool they were able to pull it off to be so convincing! Especially considering the movie came out in 1996!
Some of you might think all of these secrets killed the movie magic; but these are the Hollywood secrets that make the magic happen!