It’s terrifying, but true that some of Hollywood’s leading directors will go to any length to avoid using computer generated imagery and achieve absolutely astounding realistic shots. And the award for the top 6 amazing non-CGI special effects in movies goes to following movies.
Amazing Special Effects In Movies That Aren’t CGI
1. The Dark Knight Rises Opening Scene
The opening scene of “Dark Knight Rises,” in which Bane and his mercenaries hijack a CIA plane jumping from another C130, capture their target, and then crash the CIA plane after clipping its wings in midair.
Christopher Nolan could have used computer effects, rather he got a real C130 and tossed a real people out the back of it.
Also Read: Top 6 Steven Spielberg Movies.
For the interior shots where they needed to show the actors, the director Nolan put them in a moving plane’s fuselage set on the ground. The scenes involving the stuntmen were shot on an actual piece of fuselage suspended in midair by a helicopter over Scotland. The entire shoot was scheduled for 9 days, but Nolan did it in just 2 days.
2. Skyfall – Train Scenes
Some of the most dangerous scenes in the latest Bond flick, Skyfall were shot the old-fashioned way. For example, the scene where a full size train smashes through a wall. This was shot for real achieved by hanging a train from inverted tracks and then smash the train through a wall to accomplish realism. Maverick actor Daniel Craig was on the set when this scene was shot.
The thrilling fight scene on top of a speeding train where Bond uses his fists to pummel the bad guy was also filmed using practical effects where the actors were supported by just wires. The only scenes where CGI was used were the ones where Bond fights a Komodo dragon and MI6 blow up scene.
3. Tron (the Original) – Hand Painting
The original Tron did contain some CGI effects, though most of it was done by hand, even the glowing blue suits. To get the desired effect, the film makers had to deploy technology from the 1930s.
All scenes set inside the computer were shot in black and white entirely after which they were turned into individual cells and hand painted post production piece by piece.
The process was time-consuming and tedious, but had to be done. The result was an unbelievable and unforgettable science fiction blockbuster much ahead of its time garnering rave reviews. The film was a classic setting itself up as a benchmark for future sci-fi movies.
4. The Amazing Spiderman – Real Spider Reflexes
The film makers of the Amazing Spiderman wanted to make a movie totally different from Sam Raimi’s Spiderman films. One aspect involving their very vastly different approach was the web slinging. Sam Raimi had used a lot of CGI in his earlier films, but Marc Webb, director of the franchise reboot wanted to do it using stunt men.
The practical effect was achieved by attaching a stunt double or the real actor himself, Andrew Garfield, to a cable 60 feet in the air run by a winch on rail. In the scene where Peter Parker screams as he learns to swing on a chain.
There was not much acting involved as the actor could not stop screaming for 2 days after that scene was shot thanks to a director who was bent on achieving realism of the highest order.
5. The Matrix Reloaded – Crushing Cars
The unforgettable fight scene from The Matrix Reloaded, where an actor lands on top of a car so hard that it topples over with burning wreckage in the middle of the highway. This shot was accomplished using a car rig that worked with the car driven in high-speed and then flipping it over.
The film makers then composites that with an actor in front of the blue screen. In the film the impact from the car rig was so powerful that cars several feet away from the one rigged were toppled over. A dangerous, but well-choreographed stunt which went as planned for all involved.
6. The Jurassic Park Monsters
Jurassic Park was an all-time classic monster flick created through a combination of robotic dinosaurs and CGI. There is 1 important, but often not mentioned special effect used in the movie, stunt men in rubber suits.
Also Read: Top 6 Action Movies Of Salman Khan.
The movie is an undeniable proof that something as old-fashioned as monster costumes can be convincing enough as to not require use of extensive CGI.
The lengths some directors would go to get the degree of realism they expect is unbelievable, mind-blowing stunt work indeed. Please feel free to express your opinion on these movies or even let us know of other non-CGI scenes in movies which might have thrilled you.