Lights, Camera, Action: Behind The Scene Secrets Of The Movie Industry

Movie-goers are in it for the final product but often times have no clue about the hidden gems going on behind the scenes of film sets. There are many secrets the film industry doesn’t want the general public to know because it would totally ruin the movie’s magic. Get ready because it’s lights, camera, and action on secrets of the movie industry.

Some Actors Are Fed Lines Through Ear Pieces

the-godfather_0b6441a7
MovieStillsDB/The Godfather
MovieStillsDB/The Godfather

Learning lines can’t be easy. And for some A-list actors, it’s a hassle they just don’t want to deal with anymore. So, the industry has come up with a hidden way for their stars to “learn” their lines without anyone knowing any different — they’re fed them through an earpiece via walkie-talkie!

Actors such as Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Marlon Brando, and even Tom Cruise have all utilized this little industry secret a time or two!

Shoes and Boxes Are Used To Make People Taller And Shorter

Celebrity Sightings in New York City - September 25, 2017
Bobby Bank/GC Images
Bobby Bank/GC Images

Studios aren’t going to cast actors solely based on their height. That’s where some tricks of the trade come in. To make it look as though an actor is much taller or shorter than they are in real life, a few props are used.

For Robert De Niro in The Irishman, he was outfitted with platform shoes so he’d appear taller onscreen. On the other hand, Chris Evans had to kneel on a box for Captain America: The First Avenger, so he appeared way shorter than the rest of the soldiers (pre-super soldier serum).

Stunt Doubles Aren’t Always Look-A-Likes

jennifer-lopez-double-17075-54891
Photo credit: icametodropbombs / Reddit
Photo credit: icametodropbombs / Reddit

While many stunt doubles have a striking similarity to the person they’re standing in for, as the entire cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s stunt performers, this isn’t the case for the entire movie industry.

For example, a bearded and wig-wearing Diego Guerra stood in for Penelope Cruz during her stunts in Zoolander 2. And Korean American stuntman Ilram Choi swung around pretending to be Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man. Needless to say, camera angles make it so audience members would never know the difference!

Actors Use Their Own Clothing

the-big-lebowski_DVDTCC
Gramercy Pictures
Gramercy Pictures

While it’s not common, some actors utilize their own wardrobe for their character, bringing some personal items from home. This is typically most common with film extras, but there have been instances where a lead actor decides to wear some of their own clothing.

One such instance is with The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Actor Jeff Bridges is actually wearing a lot of his own clothing in the film!

Foley Artists Bring The Sounds Post-Production

800px-Foley_Room_at_the_Sound_Design_Campus_(cropped)
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

While watching a movie, it might seem as though sounds such as walking in the snow or opening a door are happening in real-time. But that’s not actually true. In fact, the studio has a specific person, a foley artist, to add sound to movies post-production.

The job of a foley artist is to reproduce sound to enhance the quality. For example, while watching the film, they’ll stomp their feet on a marble slab to make the sound of someone walking up or down a set of stairs.

On-Screen Amputations Are A Result Of A Green Or Blue Sleeve

lt-dan-forrest-gump
Reddit
Reddit

There are many films that have depicted a character with a lost limb. However, the studio doesn’t necessarily go looking for an actor with an amputated arm or leg to create the illusion.

For films such as Forrest Gump and Soul Surfer, the actors wear green or blue sleeves on the limb that is missing. Then, in post-production, their limb is digitally removed. It’s pretty much like wearing a mini greenscreen!

Villains Aren’t Allowed To Have Apple Phones

female-villains-catwoman-56138-68770
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

In modern film, it seems as though every character uses a cellphone. If viewers look close enough, though, they might notice one brand that villains never carry, Apple. This is because the company doesn’t want its product to be associated with a bad person.

During an interview with Vanity Fair, Knives Out director Rian Johnson said, “Apple… they let you use iPhones in movies but — and this is very pivotal if you’re ever watching a mystery movie — bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera.”

Weather Is Created Using Various Products

8556853
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Since weather is so unpredictable, studios have to develop various ways to create a rainstorm, a snowy morning, and even a foggy road. To do this, there are many different props and products that are used.

Jeremy Chernick of J&M Special Effects says some films use a hose to sprinkle the water over the actors from a specific height. Soap products are thrown into a machine to produce “snowflakes.” And fog is nothing more than a fog machine straight out of a haunted house!

Digital Makeovers Are A Normal Occurrence

irishman
Netflix/The Irishman
Netflix/The Irishman

Like filters on social media and airbrushing for models on magazine covers, there are some digital enhancements happening behind the scenes of the film industry. During post-production, many studios digitally enhance the actors, pretty much giving them the ultimate makeover.

The technology allows them to remove “imperfections” such as wrinkles, breakouts, dark skin spots, and receding hairlines, such as Kevin Costner’s in Waterworld. They’re even able to make a person’s nose smaller if need be!

Costumes Aren’t Washed

die-hard-with-a-vengeance_7af7d6e4
Die Hard With A Vengeance
Die Hard With A Vengeance

It might sound gross, but actors typically find themselves wearing dirty and used clothing throughout filming. It has to do with avoiding continuity errors in the movie. If the costume department went and washed a set of clothing after a day of filming, they might run into one simple issue — fading material.

Instead of washing the clothing, costumes will be sprayed down with cleaning supplies. That’s quite unfortunate for action stars!

Trailer Directors Don’t Care About Spoilers

mission-impossible-ghost-protocol_007fae9a
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

Movie trailers are a huge part of the film industry, giving viewers a glimpse into the characters and epic stories they’re about to sit down to view. Unfortunately, the directors of trailers don’t always care if they’re spoiling major plot points for the audience.

Many times, directors don’t even watch the entire film. Instead, they piece together the most attention-grabbing aspects of the movie and splice it together. If the finished product happens to contain a huge spoiler, so be it.

Actors’ Faces Being Affixed To Another Persons Body

the-first-avenger
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The First Avenger

For specific roles, many actors hit the gym or go on a hard-core diet. But that doesn’t mean everyone. Instead of going through intense training and cutting out food, some A-listers are lucky enough to skirt through everything and have their faces digitally affixed to another person’s body!

Think Chris Evans’s in Captain America: The First Avenger before he became a super-soldier. Evans was so in shape that they digitally placed his face on Leander Deeny’s body for “skinny” Steve Rogers!

Food On Camera Is Rarely Real

when-harry-met-sally_GXNOFd
When Harry Met Sally
When Harry Met Sally

In some movies, actors can be seen sitting in front of a table full of food. But if viewers look very closely, it’s rare ever to see people actually eating the food. They typically reach for their drinks instead.

This is because the food on the table is hardly ever real. Since no one really knows how long a scene will take to film, it’s more cost-efficient to use fake food than to continuously replace real food.

Intimate Scenes Are Typically Filmed Last

the-wolf-of-wall-street_73ed91
MovieStillsDB/The Wolf of Wall Street
MovieStillsDB/The Wolf of Wall Street

Scenes in a movie aren’t filmed in chronological order. But when it comes to a specific type of scene, studios typically aim to film it dead last. Intimate scenes between partners are usually at the end of the film schedule in order for the two people to get comfortable with each other.

On top of that, the sets are usually closed and only a certain amount of the crew is allowed to be there.

Pregnancies Are Hidden In A Specific Way

the-avengers-age-of-ultron_8b9498
Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Entertainment
Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Entertainment

Viewers would never know, but there has been more than one actress who’s been pregnant while filming a movie. The thing is, studios are tricky and can hide the fact very well!

Between baggy clothing with specific patterns to make a stomach look leaner and more flattering to digitally removing a pregnancy bump, Hollywood is very good at making it, so movie-goers are left in the dark about an actress’s personal life. Who would have guessed that Scarlett Johansson was pregnant during Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Water Is A Useful For Contrast, Texture, And Lighting

terminator-3-rise-of-the-machines_ea7f5e9d
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Hollywood uses all types of tricks to produce the perfect scene. But what a lot of people don’t know is that some of the lighting techniques used in movies require water for contract and texture, the one substance that people tend to avoid while handling lights.

According to No Film School, “Throwing a bunch of water on the ground (“wet-down”) does something that is really cool and really helpful… it creates contrast. Wet-downs are also great at creating texture.” This is a technique used during night scenes.

They’re Not Above The Use Of Performance Enhancers

the-program_htHwAn
MovieStillsDB/The Program
MovieStillsDB/The Program

The movie industry works quickly. And because of that, some actors don’t have time to hit the gym, bulk up with Avenger-level muscle, and be ready to film within weeks. When that’s the case, Hollywood brings in something they probably don’t want the public to know about.

Instead of dieting and working out, some actors wind up taking performance-enhancing substances to get quick results. Actor Ben Foster, for example, admitted to using PED’s to get in shape for The Program.

Cameras And Phones Aren’t Allowed On Set

GettyImages-621283182
Raymond Hall/GC Images
Raymond Hall/GC Images

Over the past few years, directors have been putting their foot down on people bringing phones or personal cameras onto their film sets. Not only are they distracting, with actors or crewmembers running off to take calls or respond to texts, but they can result in something disastrous — leaked set photos!

Of course, some people don’t mind cellphones being on set, and actors such as the MCU cast enjoy taking behind-the-scenes snapshots and showing them off post-film release.

Extras Must Remain Silent

GettyImages-109000295
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images

Film extras are very important, as they fill out a scene when there needs to be more than just the main actors in the frame. And while they tend to look as though they’re talking, laughing, or otherwise making some sort of sound, the truth is they’re completely silent.

Due to how powerful microphones are, if an extra were to make speak, it would disrupt what the star was saying. So, extras are pretty much masters in the art of miming.

Hollywood Accounting Creatively Cooking The Books

the-departed_a82576ef
MovieStillsDB/The Departed
MovieStillsDB/The Departed

Before a movie is even made, a budget has to be taken into consideration. Of course, the industry probably doesn’t want the general public to know that they creatively cook their own books with a little thing called “Hollywood Accounting.”

This little term has people inflating the budget needed to produce a film, reducing the amount they need to pay in taxes, profit-sharing agreements, and even royalties to the actors. Not too surprisingly, a lot of Hollywood Accounting cases have made their way to court.