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What are some of the best non-CGI special effects?

Old 05-19-08, 01:08 PM
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What are some of the best non-CGI special effects?

I'm trying to compile some of the best special effects scenes or ideas from movies that DON'T use CGI or computer manipulation. I'm using "special effect" in a larger sense: make believe, trick of the eye, choregraphic...

You guys want to help?

Here's a few that strike me:

The living candle holders scene from Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast:



Anything directed bu Busby Berkeley:



It can be modern or classic movies. Any help would be great!
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Old 05-19-08, 01:14 PM
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simiarily, the pit of arms from 'Labyrinth'

stomach "mouth"/arm removal from 'The Thing'

the red balloon from the French short film 'The Red Balloon'

multi-plane depth/backgrounds for original King Kong

ladder fight scene 'Once Upon A Time in China'

boat tip 'The Poseidon Adventure'

ferris wheel roll '1941'

destruction of Planet Krypton 'Superman'

the abduction scene from 'Close Encounters'

rolling thunder clouds from 'Close Encounters' and 'Poltergeist' : tree attack scene

airplane gremlin 'Twilight Zone: The Movie'

giant plant from 'Little Shop of Horrors' (Frank Oz version)

'The Absent Minded Professor' - basketball scene

twin effects for original 'Freaky Friday'

'bruce' the shark: 'Jaws'

eye slice - 'L'Age D'or'

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Old 05-19-08, 01:26 PM
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Carpenter's The Thing.
Aliens - how they did the Alien Queen is pretty damn cool, and in this age of CGI, looks awesome.
Granted, stop-motion stuff hasn't aged well. A shame, as at the time, Harryhausen and Phil Tippett's stuff was great.
The bridge scene in Sorcerer. The car chase in To Live and Die in L.A. and the French Connection - there's no way a scene like that could be done these days (in the manner that it was done, I mean)
The motion-controlled space combat in the Star Wars trilogy!
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Old 05-19-08, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Egon's Ghost
Carpenter's The Thing.
Aliens - how they did the Alien Queen is pretty damn cool, and in this age of CGI, looks awesome.
Granted, stop-motion stuff hasn't aged well. A shame, as at the time, Harryhausen and Phil Tippett's stuff was great.
The bridge scene in Sorcerer. The car chase in To Live and Die in L.A. and the French Connection - there's no way a scene like that could be done these days (in the manner that it was done, I mean)
The motion-controlled space combat in the Star Wars trilogy!
the finale car chase in Arlington Boulevard is also quite amazing, in terms of rawness, intensity and non-cgi work - pre Homeland Security DC location shoot.

Was there CGI enhancement for 'The Corspe Bride'?
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Old 05-19-08, 01:49 PM
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2001: A Space Odyssey.
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Old 05-19-08, 01:58 PM
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Early Japanese Monster movies:

The Miniature buildings and vehicles
Slow motion to give monsters a sense of great size and weight
Puppetry
Rubber costumes with animated features controlled by different workers
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Old 05-19-08, 02:02 PM
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Old 05-19-08, 02:04 PM
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the thing and anything jim henson did.
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Old 05-19-08, 02:27 PM
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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde '32-Transformation #1 only done with lighting
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Old 05-19-08, 02:50 PM
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you guys are amazing!
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Old 05-19-08, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlieK
Joan Rivers
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Old 05-19-08, 02:57 PM
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Old 05-19-08, 03:09 PM
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If I remember correctly all of the effects in Coppola's DRACULA are done "old school,".
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Old 05-19-08, 03:12 PM
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Old 05-19-08, 03:18 PM
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Savini's shotgun death scene in Maniac.
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Old 05-19-08, 03:27 PM
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Old 05-19-08, 03:31 PM
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Michel Gondry uses in-camera tricks quite often. The entirety of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, as far as I know, was done by hand and the development process. There are a lot of neat forced-perspective tricks in the Lord of the Rings movies.
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Old 05-19-08, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
If I remember correctly all of the effects in Coppola's DRACULA are done "old school,".
I particularily liked the scene where Dracula is walking Jonathan around the castle and there's shadows, rats scurrying around upside down, a starscape underneath a stairway.
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Old 05-19-08, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
If I remember correctly all of the effects in Coppola's DRACULA are done "old school,".
This blew me away when I found out about it. Quite a lot of astonishing effects done in camera.
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Old 05-19-08, 04:03 PM
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Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding:

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Old 05-19-08, 04:08 PM
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I think Georges Méliès' A Trip to the Moon (1902) is still pretty badass
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Old 05-19-08, 04:09 PM
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Old 05-19-08, 04:29 PM
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Old 05-19-08, 05:32 PM
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Old 05-19-08, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Early Japanese Monster movies:

The Miniature buildings and vehicles
Slow motion to give monsters a sense of great size and weight
Puppetry
Rubber costumes with animated features controlled by different workers
Total agreement here. Despite being dismissed today as rubber suit monsters, these were among the most sophisticated effects ever produced at the time.
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