Mind-Melting Green Screen Photos That Expose How Hollywood Really Works

Hollywood has come a long way thanks to advancements in technology like CGI and green screens. Movies and TV shows just couldn’t capture our imaginations the same way without these special effects.

Turning on a film with incredible effects can transport us to a different place, but doesn’t it make you wonder what it looked like actually filming these scenes? We always knew The Hulk must rely on CGI and green screens, but it’s another thing to see it with your own eyes. Check out these behind-the-scenes photos of Hollywood hard at work, and laugh at how ridiculous the actors look.

The Matrix

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Considering the fact that half of The Matrix‘s plot revolves around Neo being inside The Matrix, a lot of CGI had to be involved. This scene was set in a warehouse and they still used an entire green screen background.

That tells me Keanu Reeves basically acted out this entire movie in his own imagination, which is pretty darn impressive.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

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I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe this photo is real. I was under the impression that the wizarding world of Harry Potter was a real place, and that I just wasn’t invited because my letter to Hogwarts got lost when Voldemort destroyed the Ministry of Magic’s records.

These green screen hands must actually be magical creatures that live in the library.

Game Of Thrones

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I’m not going to lie, I expected something a little more intimidating to be a dragon. I understand they just CGI the green stick out, but dragons are huge, terrifying beasts.

Wrapping some fabric around a stick and calling it a day really feels the production team wasn’t even trying to make Emilia Clarke’s job easy.

Continue on to see how you favorite animated ’90s film was brought to life.

Beauty And The Beast

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If you ever doubted Emma Watson’s acting abilities, then this photo will prove you wrong. Dan Stevens is actually walking around in a padded suit with stilts and Watson didn’t crack a smile once. She even had to dance with him in this suit.

Honestly, her ability to actually take Stevens seriously in this get-up is worth an Oscar nomination.

Life Of Pi

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In reality, none of us ever actually believed the tiger in Life of Pi was real, but it’s still a little disheartening to see the proof.

Despite the CGI and special effects, it’s cool to see that the directors had Suraj Sharma actually acting and floating on water.

Space Jam

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Come on and slam! And welcome to the greatest disappointment of your childhood! I know it’s unrealistic to think Michael Jordan was actually acting with cartoon characters, but when you’re a kid, the sky is the limit with your imagination.

This does prove that MJ is the most underrated actor of a generation.

The movie coming up is a sequel to an ’80s original, and the films have two very different effects.

Titanic

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I feel like there were a lot of scenes in Titanic that required green screen more than this. In this scene, all you had to do was get a smaller boat and reenact the scene. It didn’t have to be a huge ocean liner.

First, Rose says there isn’t room on the door, and now this.

The Avengers

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Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bruce Banner in The Avengers franchise has been incredible, but it’s important to remember that he’s also the man behind the CGI Hulk too.

When Banner transformer, so did Ruffalo. One quick outfit change into a CGI-suit and he was ready to take on Chris Hemsworth like it was nobody’s business.

Mad Max: Fury Road

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Mad Max: Fury Road was touted by many to be one of the best films of the decade, and its special effects played a big part in that. The cars might be authentic, but the flips, explosions, and dystopian desert are very fake.

Green screen or not, its action scenes are miles ahead of the original Mad Max.

Keep reading to see Will Smith show off his action chops against a not-so-scary dog.

Game Of Thrones

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If there are two things in the Game of Thrones series that absolutely require a green screen, it’s the dragons and the wall. Thanks to HBO’s big budget, we got to watch Jon and the Wildlings climb the wall in season three.

It looks like they actually used a vertical wall for the scene, but the ground was probably only 30, not 300, feet below.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

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Bill Nighy did an amazing job portraying ghost captain Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, but we didn’t expect the character to be so animated (literally).

I was thinking there’d be some prosthetics or even a wig, but this photo shows that it was 100% CGI.

I Am Legend

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This is the most gut-wrenching scene in all of I Am Legend. When Robert is attacked by the mutant dog, his dog protects him but becomes infected too. We all cried, and it’s something that still hurts.

Seeing this awkward man in a green morph suit as the demon dog actually makes me feel a little better about the entire thing.

The Matrix

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This is just further proof that basically the entire film of The Matrix was done on a green screen soundstage. This is also a great behind-the-scenes look at how they managed to pull off the scene where they lean back in slow motion to dodge the bullets.

This right here is the magic of Hollywood.

Guardians Of The Galaxy

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I’m sorry, but Bradley Cooper is credited for playing Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy, and I’m a little disappointed that I’m not seeing him in that green morph suit.

Instead, we see effects actor Sean Gunn in the suit. He had to pose low to the ground for extended periods of time to pull off the role.

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a true behind the scenes look at Hollywood without featuring a flying scene. It must have been fun for Daniel Radcliffe to pretend to swipe and glide through the air.

I imagine it was similar to riding one of those coin-operated rides outside of a grocery store, but with more wind machines.

The Avengers

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Mark Ruffalo is at it again and doing better than ever. Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans had it easy in their boring superhero costumes.

Mark had to switch between being an awkward, shy scientist to being an 8-foot tall, 1,400 pound monster without a shirt on. Give him the applause he deserves.

The Dark Knight

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Harvey Dent might be in the middle of his identity crisis, but Aaron Eckhart is locked in and perfect in his acting. Even though the CGI indicators would do all the work for Eckhart, he still managed to make half his face more menacing than the other.

Slap some prosthetics on and he wouldn’t have even needed special effects.

Gravity

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Any movie based in outer space is bound to have some green screen and CGI action happening, but this proves just how far they went in the film Gravity.

Sandra Bullock doesn’t have anything close to the actual equipment in the movie studio, yet it all comes together thanks to CGI.

Boardwalk Empire

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This shot from Boardwalk Empire proves how a few strips of green screen can transform an entire scene.

If a film wanted to pull off a scene like this decades ago, they would have needed to film by a body of water and omit the dated ocean liners.

The Avengers

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Marvel is a powerhouse in the film industry so it’s really no surprise they excel at green screen work. These films are littered with explosions and action scenes.

They probably wouldn’t have even been possible a few decades ago. Well, they might have been possible but they’d be using real explosions which would be a lot more unsafe.

X-Men

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Wolverine is the mutant that can regenerate himself after any type of damage is dealt to him. No matter if its a gunshot to the head or a knife to the gut, he always comes back and angrier than ever. Little kids probably wonder how on Earth he does it.

Here, in a scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past, cast members are setting up Hugh Jackman for success. When the snakes crawl through him, it looks like they are only attached on the outer surface.

Godzilla

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Yeah, like there’s really giant lizards laying dormant somewhere overseas waiting to attack. If that were the case, the world would be doomed as we know it. A nuke might be able to stop it, but even then, that’s dangerous to the civilians.

It looks like all they did here was place a giant green screen in front of the real actors. That way, they can slip in Godzilla through some very nice CGI effects.

Infinity War

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The most relentless villain of them all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to be Thanos. He made his full-length film appearance in early 2018 in Avengers: Infinity Wargunshotand he did not disappoint. How did they transform the actor?

It looks like they just took his facial scans and matched it with the CGI. Meaning, whatever Josh Brolin did for the computer, Thanos would be able to do on the big screen for all the fans.

Kill Bill

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It would be pretty amazing if Uma Thurman could actually do most of the stuff she pulled off in Kill Bill. Not many in the world, are capable of the stunts she did. Of course, she needed a little help.

To give her the balance, they attached a bunch of wires to her so that if she were to fall of this poor victims back, they would secure her safely to the ground. When is part three coming out?

Infinity War

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Some people wonder how in the world the buildings that often get destroyed look so realistic. It’s literally like they go to these cities and ask the mayor if they have any old buildings they can use for their movies.

In Infinity War, there was a ton of destruction. In this scene as Tony Stark prepares for battle, there was only a little damage done so far. Instead of a green screen, they just covered the buildings and made them blue for editing later on.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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As much as we would like to believe that Ceasar is real or that monkeys could lead a revolution, that just isn’t the case. Although it is interesting to try and figure out how they brought the strong lead character to life.

It looks like the filmmakers took a similar route to that of Thanos from the Marvel movies. Throw something on his head and let the CGI do the rest of the work. Not too bad.

300

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First of all, this film takes place in the past, so it has to be fake. The time period and the places that many of the scenes took place don’t exist anymore and they had to make up for that.

It would have been cool if this really took place out in the open but sadly it did not.

A Good Day to Die Hard

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As hardcore as Bruce Willis is, there is no way in the world that he’s really out here defying death without the help of some computers.

Here he is escaping a chopper that would have probably ended his life if this were real. We have heard he does some of his own stunts.

Tron

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Tron: Legacy is filled with special effects. If there were a world like that depicted in the movie that we could actually go to, you can bet everyone would go all the time.

With so many cool lights and themes, they had to use a heavy dosage of different color screens to pull this movie off.

The Wolverine

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We get it, Hugh Jackman is the perfect Wolverine and fans are sad that he has exited their lives from playing the role. He grew on us so much that many think he could really take a beating.

Even a big scar like this had to be edited with CGI.

RoboCop

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If giant robocops were to really roam the land, it might be a little scary. Even though things are gearing up to turn out that way, it wasn’t possible way back when this film came out.

As you can see, the terrifying cop is only a sweet regular guy with some cool head gear on.

Life of Pi

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Wouldn’t life be a blast if tigers would willing take a nap in our laps? Instead of being hungry for food and potentially killing us that is.

It looks like he’s just holding a stuffed animal with a drawn on face. That is very scary at all and it is as sweet as the tiger looks.

Narnia

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Narnia is a beautiful book that sparks the imagination so it is only right that the movie produced the same type of stuff. Unfortunately, Narnia doesn’t exist!

However, the filmmakers did do a swell job at reproducing what would be Narnia on the big screen. It looks like a place many would love to travel to.

300

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This beautiful scene from 300 captures the essence of what it was like to be in charge during that time period. Large statues at your bedside and a bed fit for a king.

Yes, you can still probably find large animal statues but to have them in your “palace” is a long shot.

Iron Man

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Maybe one day soon, experts will develop a technology that will enable someone to have a real life Iron Man type suit. Until that day comes, we’re stuck with movies of him.

Robert Downey Jr. must love playing this role as he’s done so for over a decade. He might be coming up with a way to make the suit real when no one’s paying attention.

Wolf of Wall Street

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It looks like they didn’t have the budget to take the actors to this actual location. And who would have thought that such a simple scene would need a green screen?

Perhaps, it was easier and quicker for the studios to just mock this up instead of flying them out there.

Superman

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Don’t we all wish we could fly at the speed of sound. It would make going through all of that airport security obsolete. Luckily for Clark Kent, he isn’t of this world.

It’s a simple fix to make it look like he’s flying. Just suspend him the air and throw a screen behind him.

Hunger Games

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Who would have ever thought that this was nothing but a green long table? Certainly not us over here. At least a screen on the table of something.

These actors don’t get paid enough to pretend like they’re doing something they’re really not. It is really an art form if you ask us.

Walking Dead

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One of TV’s most popular shows for sure has some green screen effects. Zombies aren’t real and we hope it always stays that way. However, there aren’t many desolate cities for filming available.

That’s why they had to do this scene this way. It was probably filmed in the back lot.

Iron Man

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Overtime, Marvel Studios found better ways to capture how they would like Iron Man to look on screen. By the time they introduced War Machine, they pretty much had it down.

Still, there is room for improvement that would make the future of the superhero films look and feel that much better.