Practical special effects are my favorite facet of filmmaking. There’s just so much to admire and unwrap when it comes to creating movie magic. The folks whose job it is to fool our eyes and make us believe there’s something definitive on the screen when there really isn’t simply don’t often get enough credit.
The fact that so many special effects these days are now done using computers–in other words CGI–we probably take practical special effects even more for granted. But to create guts and bubbling acid and snow and slime when that’s not at all what they are in real life takes imagination, creativity, know-how, and ingenuity as much as any other job on set.
Take, for example, the very first installment on this video by Screen Rant: the sewage pipe escape scene in “The Shawshank Redemption.” First of all … Shawshank! My favorite film of all time (and no wonder I chose to feature the video in the first place). I’ve seen the movie dozens of times and always gag at the sequence in which Andy has to crawl “through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to.”
Think Tim Robbins actually crawled through anything gross during the filming of that scene? Sure looked like it. But alas, he most certainly did not. I won’t spoil what the special effects folks actually used to create that so-called foulness, so be sure to watch the video to find out that and plenty more moviemaking secrets.