Technology has done a lot of great things for humanity, and has succeeded in making the world feel a little more connected. But some people argue that the use of CGI on the silver screen has gotten out of control. Luckily for them, there are filmmakers out there who still insist on doing things the old fashioned way. These are 10 Amazing Movie Effects Created Without Computers.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Of all the big screen cybernetic organisms, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 is probably the most iconic. Known commonly as a Terminator, the machine has been terrorizing audiences since 1984. And while there are technically a bunch of films in the franchise, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day is the absolute best. A lot of the effects were created using a combination of CGI and manual efforts on-set, but one of the movie’s best gags actually ended up on the cutting room floor. During a scene where Sarah (Linda Hamilton) and John (Edward Furlong) are resetting the Terminator’s CPU, director James Cameron utilized clever camera placement, a body double, and Linda Hamilton’s twin sister to create the illusion that the procedure was all happening in a mirror.
The Dark Knight
This may be Christopher Nolan’s first appearance on this list, but it won’t be his last. The director has been applauded for his practical filmmaking methods, and seems to be deterred by nothing. No stunt is impossible. So when it came time for Batman to chase the Joker through the streets of Gotham, the team wrapped up the sequence with a big finish. That semi-flip you just saw? 100% real. Stunt driver Jim Wilkey flipped the vehicle in the middle of a real street, surrounded by real buildings. At it’s height, the trailer was over fifty feet in the air. And thankfully, they only had to do it once.
Christopher Nolan is back. And this time, he’s breaking one of the earth’s oldest laws: gravity. Each dream world has it’s own beautiful aesthetic. But when the drop kicks in on level two, everything in the environment becomes weightless. Audiences watch as Joseph Gordon Levitt scrambles to secure the team, and gets in a pretty cool fight along the way. Filmmakers built the entire set encased in a grouping of eight rings, which rotated as the camera stayed fixed. “But wait!” we hear you cry, “didn’t Kubrick do the exact same thing in 2001: A Space Odyssey?” The answer is yes, but Kubrick didn’t make it look THIS good.
The Dark Knight Rises
You know what? Christopher Nolan is a modern filmmaker with old school sensibilities, and we can’t help it if he’s responsible for multiple legendary non-CG stunts, okay? In the final film in his Batman trilogy, big bad Bane executes a heist that results in a plane dropping from the sky. After hearing what we’ve already told you, you might not be surprised to find out that Nolan really did make a plane drop from the sky. On top of that, he did it quickly. And a shot that was supposed to take five days was delivered in two.