Back in the day, filmmakers used oil paintings, miniature models and trick photography to achieve cinematic effects. Those days are long gone and today, visual effects play a major role in turning movies into magical masterpieces. Hollywood has mastered the art and application of computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create spectacular actions and drama. With the help of these softwares, filmmakers are capable of bringing their imagination to life, but at a lower cost than making the actual sets. Here, we are listing 15 before and after photos that show the importance of special effects in movies.
#1. Game Of Thrones
Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows in history. The series is successful thanks to its animators who do an amazing job at making everything look surreal. With a budget of $15 million per episode, it’s no wonder they can use special effects to keep the viewers’ interest. According to Vanity Fair, some episodes cost even more, due to their unique film locations and costumes.
#2. Guardians Of The Galaxy
It took the makeup artists five hours every day to apply makeup and 18 prosthetic tattoo pieces onto Dave Bautista. In fact, when Dave Bautista found out that he was asked to play the role of Drax the Destroyer, he broke down in tears, overjoyed at getting a Marvel comic-book role. He immediately signed up for extra acting classes in order to prepare for the role.
#3. Captain America
Captain America is one of Marvel’s most enduring superheroes. When Chris Evans was offered the role to play Captain America, he declined the role three times before finally accepting the part. Evans feared that fame would have an adverse effect on his personal life, but Robert Downey, Jr. convinced him to take the part. The movie had a budget of $140 million and made more than $1 billion.
#4. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
The Harry Potter movie franchise is one of the most successful franchises of all time, grossing over $8 billion in gross revenue. Apparently on set, the film crew decided not to use the magic of CGI to make those flying books. Instead, creepy green-screen hands just reached out from behind shelves to grab them.
#5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
In 1968, Planet of the Apes was launched into theaters and became an overnight sensation. With a history that spans nearly 50 years, it should go without saying that the Planet of the Apes franchise has been a commercial and critical success with audiences and critics alike over the decades. The original Planet of the Apes was the highest grossing film of 1968 with $32 million domestically on its production budget of just $5.8 million.
#6. The Matrix
The Matrix is one of the most iconic movies released in the past 20 years. The original budget that the Wachowski’s pitched Warner Bros. was over $80 million. Warner however, only gave them $10 million. With a budget not even close to the required amount, they used the $10 million to make the opening sequence with Trinity. The opening scene impressed executives at Warner so much that they gave the green-light for the original budget.
#7. Beauty And The Beast
Walt Disney attempted to develop Beauty and the Beast into an animated film both in the 1930s and 1950s, but ultimately gave up because the writers found the story too difficult to adapt. In 1988, Disney hired Richard Purdum to adapt the film. His version of the film was a much darker, non-musical adaption that never made it to the big screen. After he left the film, screenwriter Linda Woolverton was hired to rewrite the script. Her entire portfolio of writing experience with Disney consisted of a few episodes of Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers.
#8. Doctor Strange
Although he may be best known to the general public from the 2016 film and his subsequent appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, The Sorcerer Supreme has a long history in the comics. While Doctor Strange can travel to other dimensions and what not, everyone needs a home base. The inter-dimensional New Yorker has his HQ in Greenwich Village, in a building known as the Sanctum Santorum. If you type that name into Google Maps it actually pulls up 177a Bleecker Street in New York.
#9. The Avengers
On September 10, 1963, The Avengers #1 brought together Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, The Wasp, and Hulk to battle the Asgardian trickster Loki. Despite several successful and largely grossing movies, The Avengers was the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make one billion dollars. Toward the end of The Avengers, Iron Man asks Captain America if he would like to try shawarma. The end credits reveal a scene where the group of Avengers is sitting at a table enjoying the dish. As a result of this mention, shawarma sales went through the roof in Los Angeles. One shawarma restaurant even saw an 80% boost in revenue!
#10. Pirates Of The Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean gave us Captain Jack Sparrow. The first film was originally meant to be titled just Pirates of the Caribbean, but the producers decided to add The Curse of the Black Pearl at the end in case the film was successful enough to have a sequel made. Apart from that, Keira Knightley was only 17 when she starred in the first Pirates of the Caribbean, so her mother had to be present throughout the entire production. The movie also had a massive budget of $300 million.
#11. Jurassic Park (1993)
Director Steven Spielberg first heard of Jurassic Park while working on a set with author Michael Crichton, who described his upcoming book. Before Universal Studios could even think of making a movie, Spielberg contacted them and bought the rights to Jurassic Park in 1990. Spielberg was so excited that he began storyboarding scenes from the book, even though there was no screenplay written yet. Finally, the Jurassic Park was made with a budget of $63 million and went on to make $1.029 billion.
#12. The Chronicles of Narnia
According to C.S. Lewis himself, he first conceived the basic idea of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when he was 16 years old. Lewis first envisioned “a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood” but he didn’t get around to actually writing out the story until he “was about forty”. In the 1940’s, the Oxford University professor C.S. Lewis struggled and fought to complete The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which would become a best seller, lead to six sequels, and still be widely read decades later.
#13. 300 – The Rise of an Empire
300 – The Rise of an Empire, a sequel to 2006’s hugely successful 300, was loosely based on fact. The sequel focuses on the war at sea, and particularly on two battles: Artemisium, which took place around the same time as Thermopylae, and Salamis, one of history’s greatest naval encounters.
The original RoboCop (1987) was made with a small budget of $13 million. The movie was also a breakthrough for Hollywood. The RoboCop remake in 2014 had a budget of $100 million and made $242 million.
#15. The Life of Pi
The drama/fantasy film arrived in theaters in 2012. The movie took home many awards and Oscar for Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Original Score. It only had a budget of $120 million but went on to make $113 million in the United States, $470 million internationally. More than 3,000 actors auditioned for the lead role of Pi but the part went to Suraj Sharma, a 17-year-old student and acting newcomer who had never auditioned for anything before in his life.
Bonus #16. Iron Man
Iron Man was introduced by Marvel Comics in the comic book Tales of Suspense #39 in March 1963. The character was created by Stan Lee as a challenge to create a hero no one should like and force people to like him. Tony Stark was based off of millionaire industrialist Howard Hughes. Iron Man was actually in development for many years at more than one studio before it was finalized. The first Iron Man movie had a budget of $186 million but made $102 million in the opening weekend alone, $318 million in the Box Office and $585 million in the Worldwide Box Office.