10 Unbelievable Things Used For Special Effects In Movies

Remember how you used funny props and regular items in class plays? Some of us even used cotton to give the effect of snow on Christmas trees or made a cardboard cutout of houses. We obviously wouldn’t expect high-budget Hollywood films to resort to such non-elite props. They can easily afford CGI, digital effects, professional costume and set designers, and high-end technology. But to our surprise, it turns out that even the studios relied on weird and bizarre materials for films. Here are the 10 unbelievable things used for special effects in movies. For instance, did you know that the newborn babies in movies are covered in grape jelly?


Things Used For Special Effects In Movies

The scene where Ash explained his orders was one of the most hilarious and disgusting scenes in Alien. The scene is widely trolled by fans who spotted how the lifeless dummy’s head got replaced with Ian Holm. Apart from this poor effect, the gross insides of Ash’s android were made of everyday materials. It consisted of pasta, water dyed white, and caviar. Ridley Scott wanted to creep us out by something that wasn’t blood or human-like.


Most of the time when we see sci-fi, space stuff, and android on screen, we imagine it to be a high-end tech. That’s what the audience of the 1982 “Tron” expected from its virtual world. Funnily, it was far-far away from being a high-end tech. In fact, there wasn’t any tech at all. The information disk at the back of the software programs were mere frisbees.

Les Miserables

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Filming the Oscar-winning “Les Miserables” had literally put Anne Hathaway through misery. It wasn’t shaving her head but the strict diet to look thin and filming beside rotten fish that churned her insides. Even though we couldn’t smell anything from the screens, the production-designer ensured staying faithful to the novel. She recreated the smelly details depicted in the novel where Fantine came across rotten fish and Jean Valjean encountered the sewer. The set where Anne Hathaway sang “I Dreamed A Dream” was filled with real rotten fish and seaweed to make the actor fall in the shows of her character.

The Shawshank Redemption

Things Used For Special Effects In Movies

Even the thought of the river sh** in “The Shawshank Redemption” makes us feel disgusted. This is one of the most discussed scenes in the classic movie because Andy Dufresne crawled through the gross river of sh** but still came out clean. It turns out that all the filth was made of chocolate syrup and sawdust.

The Lord of the Rings

Gollum may have been a product of motion-capture and digital effects but his spit wasn’t. Gollum had a signature habit of spitting while talking. How did they achieve that? They just filmed Andy Serkis spit and used it in the film.

Game of Thrones

Things Used For Special Effects In Movies

The popular TV show, “Game of Thrones” must have relied on great deal of props and CGI to create the gross blood, decapitated heads, white walkers, dragons, etc. But they resorted to something really basic like Starbucks coffee to create some items. The shi*t that Samwell had to clean was nothing but fruitcake soaked in water. So, next time you enjoy the fruitcake, don’t forget how it was soaked in water and sculpted into round, cylindrical shapes, and sometimes liquid form.

Dr. No

The aquarium owned by the villain Julius No was nothing but just a clip of fish swimming. While we thought it was a real aquarium, the film was clever enough to not spend so much on it and on the fish. So they simply took footage of goldfish sized fish swimming and enlarged it.

Jurassic Park

Things Used For Special Effects In Movies

The creative team brainstormed for hours to create the best and most suitable dinosaur roar ever. It obviously had to have a greater intensity and power than a tiger or a lion’s roar. So, they took every animal from the jungle book and made a cocktail of their sounds. The T-Rex’s roar consisted of an elephant’s squeal, tiger’s roar, and crocodile’s infra-sonic grunt. In fact, it’s quite common for sound designers to use an alligator or crocodile’s boom for a monster voice.

The Wizard of Oz

Everyone’s tears taste salty except for the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz”. It’s not because he cried machine oil. In fact, the director refused to use machine oil since it didn’t look good on the screen. So, they made the Tin Man shed chocolate syrup from his eyes. Wish humans too had that ability!

It’s A Wonderful Life

Things Used For Special Effects In Movies

There are a million ways to create fake snow but no man can make the true form of beautiful snowflakes as found in nature. In our favorite classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the snow was made out of confectioner’s sugar, water, and flakes of soap. All of them were then combined with fomite that generates foam of carbon dioxide in fire extinguishers.

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